Warning: this article contains spoilers for Army of Thieves.
If you were wondering about how Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) ended up in Las Vegas during Zach Snyder's Army of the Dead, prepare to have some questions clarified. Netflix's latest zombie flick, titled Army of Thieves, is a horror-comedy film and a prequel to Army of the Dead.
Although Army of Thieves takes audiences through a roller-coaster of emotions, there's one question on everyone's minds: does this zombie franchise end with Ludwig's death? Here's everything we know about how Army of Thieves ended and what is Ludwig's fate (as far as we know).
'Army of Thieves' gives some backstory to Ludwig before his assumed death in 'Army of the Dead.'
As it turns out, locksmith Ludwig Dieter (aka Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert) has encountered zombies before he even set foot in Las Vegas. The plot of Army of Thieves follows Sebastian, a bored bank teller who cracks safes for fun and posts his skills on YouTube. When he is invited to attend an underground safecracking competition, he disguises himself as Ludwig and attends.
While attending the competition, Ludwig meets Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel), a jewel thief who recruits him into a heist crew intent on breaking into three banks that host three safes created by legendary locksmith Hans Wagner. The current owner of the banks is billionaire Bly Tanaka, who audiences will remember from Army of the Dead.
The crew succeeds at two heists, but the third safe slips out of their grasp. Gwendoline and Ludwig have developed feelings for one another, and Gwendoline sacrifices herself to be arrested so Ludwig can escape pursuing the third safe. As it turns out, the third safe is being sent to Las Vegas, thus prompting the plot of Army of the Dead.
At the end of the film, in an 'epilogue' scene, Ludwig is approached by Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) and Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera) to help steal the very safe he and Gwendoline vowed to return to one day. Scott and Maria's visit thus kicks off the events of Army of the Dead — where Ludwig is last seen getting shut into a vault to save Vanderohe.
Although Ludwig's ambiguous ending in Army of the Dead might seem like he's dead, director Zach Snyder, who is already on board for a sequel, tentatively titled Planet of the Dead, has other ideas. In an interview with Inverse (per Den of Geek), Zach discussed Ludwig's fate.
"We don’t see him die on camera, and there’s still some time left. I won’t tell you what happens in Army of the Dead 2 — aka Planet of the Dead — but let’s just say that there’s a chance [Ludwig] Dieter survives." Fans wouldn't be surprised if Ludwig manages to escape the vault, especially being the seasoned safecracker that he is.
The question remains, will he return as a zombie? The last audiences saw, he was trapped with Zeus, the "Alpha Zombie" of the flick.
Army of the Dead and Army of Thieves are both available to stream now on Netflix.