‘Army of Thieves’: Prague-shot ‘Army of the Dead’ prequel hits Netflix this month

Army of Thieves, which quietly shot on locations in Prague and the Czech Republic last autumn at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, will premiere on Netflix on October 29.

The film is a prequel to Army of the Dead, the Zack Snyder-directed zombie epic that bowed on Netflix in May. Army of Thieves was greenlit and put into production before post-production was completed on the Snyder film.

Despite opening to mixed reviews, Army of the Dead immediately became one of Netflix’s most-watched movies. It was the #1 film in 90 countries when it premiered on May 21, and seen in 72 million households within its first week of release, according to data shared by the streaming service.

Last Autumn, Army of Thieves shot on location in the center of Prague under the working title of Army of the Dead: Meanwhile… in Germany.

The Czech locations in the film should stand in for those in Germany, but perhaps not entirely. Prague locals, at least, will be able to spot familiar locations in the city center in the film’s trailer, including the Czech capital’s distinctive trams.

In addition to Prague, Army of Thieves was shot throughout the Czech Republic on locations in Mariánské lázně, Slapy, Hýskov, Stará Huť, Vinařice, Vrané nad Vltavou, and the Velká Amerika quarry.

While Army of the Dead is a half-horror, half-heist zombie movie, Army of Thieves seems to focus more on the heist angle. While the zombie outbreak is referenced in the film’s trailer, it appears to be isolated to the United States during the events of the prequel, which takes place six years before the events of the earlier film.

Army of Thieves stars Matthias Schweighöfer as safecracker Dieter, the only primary character to feature in both the prequel and the first film. He’s joined by Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Ruby O. Fee, Stuart Martin, Guz Khan, Jonathan Cohen, and Noémie Nakai in the story of a group of thieves plotting an elaborate heist on the eve of a zombie apocalypse.

In addition to starring in the lead, Schweighöfer also directed the prequel. Zack Snyder shares story credit with Shay Hatten; the pair also co-wrote Army of the Dead.

Despite the German setting, Army of Thieves appears to have been primarily shot in English, going by the trailer.

Army of Thieves will be streaming on Netflix from October 29, 2021.

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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