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The Army Of The Dead Theory That Will Blow Your Mind

At its surface, "Army of the Dead" is pretty boilerplate stuff. A bevy of colorful mercenaries, centered around a father and daughter — who are estranged when the dad killed his wife, after she was bitten by a zombie — are tasked with infiltrating a Las Vegas casino vault before it's obliterated by undead-curbing nuclear hellfire. That threadbare old jacket.

And do you know what? Maybe there was a time, say, four or five years ago when that would have been enough. But we're living in a post-Snyder Cut world now. 148 minutes of high-protein, sepia tone, speed ramped ultraviolence can't satisfy a ravenous public's desires anymore. Half a decade of behavioral conditioning has taught the world that if they shout "more Snyder" long enough, eventually there'll be an extra four hours of story and an out-of-left-field time travel element.

So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that the first major fan theory to come out of "Army of the Dead" is the one which, if true, would keep the story going for untold eons: namely, that the heroes of the Netflix original film are trapped in a time loop. Zany? Maybe at first blush, but only until you find out that Zack Snyder himself has now weighed in on the subject, and he seems to be tentatively on board.

And don't forget your shooties, Army of the Dead fans, because it's cold out there today

The basics of the time loop theory are both broad and compelling enough to make you watch "Army of the Dead" again with a fresh set of eyes. 

The idea is that the crew from the film is trapped in a never ending "Groundhog Day" of zombie heistmanship, with each attempt getting them closer to their goal. For receipts, subscribers to the idea point you to the scene where the gang finds a group of undead mercenaries gathered at the casino. The similarities between the shambling corpses in question and the movie's main characters are marked enough that it seems to make the protagonists uncomfortable. Could these zombies be our heroes from a previous time loop?

Snyder seems to think that it's worth discussing. During an episode of the Film Junkee Vodka Stream video podcast, the director dug into the theory. "...there's a chance," Snyder teased, "and I'm not saying this is 100% true, and in some ways it's not — but the group at the table, I mean, it's pretty subtle, but that's them also at the table as well as... they get farther every time. Like, is this the time they made it all the way to the money?"

It sounds like the filmmaker is comfortable toying with the idea. Could the time loop theory play into the upcoming animated spin-off series "Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas?" It didn't, the last time we cycled through the same series of events with only a chosen few retaining cognizance of the temporal hell of consequence-free existence in which they were forever interred, but maybe this time will be different.