Dave Bautista still hasn't met his Army of the Dead costar Tig Notaro
That's movie magic for you.
Tig Notaro joined the cast of Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead practically at the last minute, replacing Chris D'Elia in the Netflix zombie film after the comedian was accused of sexual misconduct last year. (D'Elia has denied the allegations but admitted to having an unhealthy relationship with sex.) Notaro, who plays helicopter pilot Marianne Peters, was digitally integrated into the film after shooting all of her scenes against a greenscreen.
"I was doing a lot of stuff just completely by myself," Notaro previously told EW. "It was such a funny realization because I could start to think, 'Wow, I'm starring in a movie,' because it seemed like I was the focal point of everything. Then I realized there was no real way for me to be able to tell how far off in the distance [in the shot] I am. One time, 'I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to be blurred out [in the background] in this, am I correct?'"
It all made for a rather odd experience, not just for Notaro, but her costars as well. Case in point: Dave Bautista says he still hasn't met the comedian, despite the fact that they share several scenes in Army of the Dead.
"It was weird, because, you know, I wasn't there," Bautista told Vulture of watching Notaro's performance in the finished film. "And when I watch it, I feel like I was there. There's a connection that's missing there. But I don't feel like the movie misses a beat. Anybody who doesn't know that that's the case won't pick up on it at all. Tig fits right in, and her chemistry fits right in."
"What really bothers me, when I watch this film — it bothers me that I don't know Tig," he continued. "I feel like I should know her. I want to meet her, and I want to hug her and tell her how amazing she was in the film. I've been able to do that with all my other costars, and I haven't been able to do it with Tig because I haven't met her yet."
Snyder, meanwhile, is pleased with the results: "I think the movie is better with Tig Notaro, frankly, because she's more unexpected and she's more fun," the director told Vanity Fair. "She's like, 'Zack, clearly you knew that I had an action hero in here somewhere. I don't know where it is, but you found it.' She's so bone-dry, but in the best possible way."
He added that the decision to replace D'Elia was "an easy one," but it wasn't a cheap one: Snyder estimates that it cost Netflix "a few million" dollars to digitally add Notaro to the movie.
"I will say, Netflix did the right thing. They put their money where their mouth is," added Snyder's wife and producing partner Deborah, who produced Army of the Dead.
And many viewers seem to think the re-casting was worth every penny.
"Tig Notaro owns so hard in "ARMY OF THE DEAD" she should be getting wall-to-wall action offers," YouTube film critic Bob "MovieBob" Chipman wrote on Twitter. "Give her a franchise, where she can blast away 1000 dudes, blow up the final boss and walk off with the girl like it's nothin'. She's a born star - Joan of Arc via Jerry Bruckheimer."
Wrote another user, "After watching Army of the Dead, I'm having a hard time figuring out why Zach Synder [sic] didn't cast Tig Notaro in the first place."
In other words, mission accomplished.