Watch Zach Snyder's directorial debut on Netflix begininng January 1, 2024

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In 1978, George A. Romero released the second film in his Night of the Living Dead series of zombie films, Dawn of the Dead. In 2004, Zach Snyder released his remake of Romero's film with a screenplay written by James Gunn.

Set in Milwaukee, Snyder's film is a re-envisioning of the original, according to producers Eric Newman and Marc Abraham. The aim was to see a resurgence in the zombie genre for a new generation while still making the old fans happy. With generally favorable reviews, Dawn of the Dead (2004) would top the box office during opening weekend and by the end of its theatrical run, grossing 102.3 million worldwide. Overall, the new movie improved from the original in acting, production values, and scares.

The film stars Sarah Polley , Ving Rhames , Jake Weber , Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, and Michael Barry. Snyder cameos as a soldier battling zombies at the US Capitol in the title sequence with Scott Reiniger, Tom Savini, and Ken Foree as a general, sheriff, and televangelist, respectively, all of whom starred in the first film.

Zach Snyders Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Snyder discussed the film's theme of exploring the human condition but also wanted the film to be about redemption. The world of the undead has taken away everything that people use to define themselves: jobs, families, etc. They are forced to begin again, redefining who they are and becoming who they want to be. This also looks at how people decide to survive and what they turn to during a tragedy.

"The tragedy in this case being flesh-eating zombies. And really it's a group coming together to work as a community who wouldn't otherwise work together. So there is that foundation of love, that basic message, within even Dawn of the Dead"

Zach Snyder

Don't miss Dawn of the Dead on Netflix beginning January 1, 2024.

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