Tired of being constantly cast in action-centered roles, Bautista almost turned down the main role in Zack Snyder’s 2021 film “Army of the Dead.” However, Bautista changed his mind after seeing the script.
“I said I wasn’t interested,” Bautista said to Entertainment Weekly. “Then I read the script and it was a lot deeper and had more layers than I thought. And also, to be quite frank, I wanted to work with Zack.”
It turned out to be a solid choice because Bautista was allowed to work the best of both worlds: an action-zombie flick plus an emotional, story-driven film. Bautista was praised for his Scott Ward character, with Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair saying Bautista is “great to watch, proving a slyer and more expressive actor than his other pro-wrestler-turned-movie-star colleagues.”
Overall, “Army of the Dead” has more fans than detractors. It holds a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes and an even higher audience score. Many loved the action and humor but some criticized the long length (148 minutes), which seems to be a Snyder film staple. Nonetheless, it’s clear Bautista was one of the high points of this action-packed feature.