If you follow us closely, you may already know that, in the course of the production of Army of the Dead, the actor Chris D’Elia has been replaced by Tig Notaro after the shooting had already been concluded: because it is not a film by Zack Snyder if you don’t go back to the set when things have already been done.
The director personally chose Notaro to replace Chris D’Elia after that the latter was accused by many parties of sexual misconduct: and if this story reminds you of what happened between Kevin Spacey and Ridley Scott for All the Money in the World, you were right, as Snyder had to digitally remove D’Elia from the scenes already shot and implement new sequences with Notaro. But the director joked telling Vulture that the whole process was cheaper than the budget needed to create the zombie tiger Valentine.
“Tig had to film almost all of his scenes in front of a green screen without the other actors, and my team edited them into the pre-existing footage. You couldn’t just glue his face onto D’Elia’s, because matching their movements shot by shot would be too complicated and the difference in size between the two actors would make Notaro seem unnaturally large. I had to do this incredibly technical experiment, recreating each scene, shot by shot“Snyder revealed about the trial.”My visual effects supervisor, Marcus Taormina, took Chris D’Elia completely out of the film so that Tig could have the freedom to move within the scenes.“
Again Vulture reports: “Snyder and the visual effects team replicated the physical spaces and camera angles of the original scenes in a studio in Simi Valley, California, by referencing old footage on a monitor and using green props, laser pointers, and balls. tennis shoes hung from the stands to give a rough idea of where Notaro should have been looking. And there could be no ad-libbing: Notaro’s dialogue had to synchronize with the reactions of the other characters“. The only actor Notaro shared a scene with was Ana de la Reguera, and it took half a day to shoot the sequence. Each scene in which Notaro’s character touches another character was “mimicked or filmed with his assistant, Patrick McDonald, wearing a green suit“.
Army of the Dead will be released on May 21 on Netflix.