Stack Seaburn chosen as site to promote new Netflix film Army Of The Dead being released today
Stack Seaburn became the centre of attention after what appeared to be a vandal attack in the early hours.
It’s not your average sight on the seafront, but filmmakers have taken over the shipping container village to promote new Netflix film Army Of The Dead.
Ahead of the film’s release on May 20, Netflix made their mark on the front facade of Stack to transform it into a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas.
The Sunderland venue was chosen to promote the new release because in the film, following a zombie outbreak, a giant wall of shipping containers is placed around the perimeter of Las Vegas, to contain the infestation within the city walls.
As part of the takeover, there was a giant neon Las Vegas style Army Of The Dead sign, sand bags, hazardous waste containers and a giant monitor playing rolling news footage reporting on the zombie outbreak. There’s even a Sunderland ‘Til I Die sign – a reference to the Netflix docu-series which followed SAFC for two seasons.
Gemma Dishman from Danieli Holdings, owners of Stack, said: “Netflix initially approached us about Stack Newcastle, but when they saw the Seaburn site they were blown away by it and thought it was a better fit. It’s great for a company like Netflix to be using Sunderland in their promotion, usually you see activations like this in Manchester and London, not Sunderland."
Speaking about the stir it caused, she said: “We had a lot of people on social media asking if we’d been vandalised, but they can be rest assured it’s all meant to be here.”
Mum-of-two Helen Little from South Bents was one of the passersby who stopped to work out what was going on.
Helen, who is mum to Henry, seven, and Polly, four, said: “It’s great for someone like Netflix to come to Sunderland. The kids got very excited when they spotted it on their way to school.”
Directed by Zack Synder, of Dawn of the Dead fame, Army Of The Dead takes place following a zombie outbreak that has left Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world.
When Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), a displaced Vegas local, former zombie war hero who’s flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home, is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), it’s with the ultimate proposition: Break into the zombie-infested quarantine zone to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours.
Speaking about his inspiration for the film Zack, who also co-wrote the screenplay, said: “I got the idea right after I finished Dawn of the Dead (in 2004). I had so much fun with the genre and thinking about the tropes of the genre, and it just really got in my head that I should try to push those tropes even further.”
He added: "So, I started thinking about scenarios that would be interesting to me, like a mission-based concept. What would the mission be? I knew I wanted the zombie plague to be contained, so I had this idea of building a wall around Las Vegas, kind of à la Escape from New York. And the rest of it grew out of that.”
As well a the Seaburn makeover, promotional stunts took place in Brighton and Blackpool, where dilapidated shipping containers washed up on the beaches.
In addition to the makeover, on May 22, from 11am to 8pm, shops either side of the Stack entrance will feature extras in costume who will be handing out scratch cards where passers-by will win complimentary “zombified” treats.