How Netflix’s Army of Thieves links to Army of the Dead 💥😭😭💥

Army of Thieves ending spoilers follow.

Ludwig Dieter lives again in Netflix’s Army of Thieves, the prequel movie to Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead.

As well as directing the movie, Matthias Schweighöfer reprises his role as the expert safecracker, with Ludwig recruited into a crew of Interpol’s most-wanted criminals to carry out a series of heists of impossible-to-crack safes across Europe.

But how does Army of Thieves fit into Snyder’s wider Army of the Dead universe and does it give any hint about Ludwig’s ultimate fate? We’re about to delve into the movie and its ending to explain all, so spoilers are ahead.

Netflix

Army of Thieves ending explained

The Ludwig we meet at the start of Army of Thieves isn’t even called Ludwig Dieter. He’s actually small-town bank teller Sebastian Schlencht-Wöhnert who makes safecracking videos for YouTube that nobody watches.

One such video is about a locksmith called Hans Wagner who, following the deaths of his wife and son, created four safes inspired by Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle: Das Rheingold, Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), the Siegfried and the Götterdämmerung (i.e. the twilight of the gods). It’s said that any attempt to crack them by force would lead to the contents being incinerated.

The locksmith then built another unopenable safe and locked himself in, becoming his living tomb. For some reason, this safe was dropped into the ocean with his body inside.

After a mysterious comment on one of his videos leads Sebastian to a safecracking competition (which he obviously wins), he meets Gwendoline (Nathalie Emmanuel) who recruits him for a series of heists on three of the four Ring-cycle safes, excluding the Götterdämmerung as nobody knows where it is.

army of thieves

Netflix

This is the only time they can carry out the heist as, due to the zombie apocalypse breaking out in the US, the owner – Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), who we met in Army of the Dead – is transporting the safes in 96 hours to a vault in Geneva where they will be decommissioned.

It’s early days in the apocalypse, so Army of Thieves takes place shortly after Army of the Dead‘s cold open when we saw Alpha zombie Zeus escape. A later news report confirms it’s early on as it says the “virus outbreak of unknown origin continues to spread”, meaning they haven’t locked down Las Vegas just yet.

After agreeing to help crack the safes, Sebastian meets the rest of Gwendoline’s team: hacker Korina (Ruby O Fee), getaway driver Rolph (Guz Khan) and “action hero” Brad Cage (Stuart Martin) whose real name is Alexis Broschini.

Das Rheingold is in a small bank in Paris and the heist goes without a hitch. They don’t take all the money because the real point of the heists is to go down in history as the gang who cracked the uncrackable safes. (Shame for them that they didn’t know the world was probably ending.)

The first heist catches the attention of Interpol agent Delacroix (Jonathan Cohen) who captured the gang’s previous safecracker, before being shot in the leg by Brad. He tracks them to their next heist of The Valkryie at a high-security bank in Prague, but can’t get there in time to stop Sebastian cracking it.

army of thieves

Netflix

Things turn sour for Sebastian on the getaway, though, as Brad leaves him behind, jealous that he’s getting closer to Gwendoline. Sebastian manages to evade the police, while Gwendoline and Korina leave Brad and Rolph behind.

They reunite with Sebastian at his home in Munich to plan the final heist of the Siegfried at a casino in St Moritz. Delacroix is listening in when Sebastian and Gwendoline say they’re going to crack the safe at 5am before it’s transported, but it’s all a big ruse.

They’ve contacted the casino to move the transport time forward and with Gwendoline driving the transport vehicle, Sebastian is free to get cracking on the safe. Unfortunately for them, Korina is caught by Interpol as she keeps watch at the casino, while Brad and Rolph use the GPS on Gwendoline’s phone to track her.

Shortly after Sebastian cracks the safe, Brad and Rolph catch up with them and Brad tries to shoot Sebastian. However, Gwendoline had taken the firing pin out of his gun after he shot Delacroix, so her gun is the only one working. They tie Brad and Rolph to the truck, leaving them as a present for Delacroix.

He’s not done with Gwendoline though and whether he was told by Brad, Rolph or Korina, Delacroix finds Gwendoline and Sebastian at the pier just as they’re about to leave. To protect Sebastian, Gwendoline gives herself up and makes Delacroix promise to let Sebastian leave.

nathalie emmanuel in army of thieves

Stanislav HonzikNetflix

She makes a promise that when she gets out, they’ll find the Götterdämmerung together and Sebastian leaves. In the bag of money on board the getaway boat, Sebastian sees a new passport for him in the name of Ludwig Dieter.

It was the name of the expert safecracker in the comic books Sebastian wrote when he was younger, which he told Gwendoline about earlier in the movie. Clearly, the passport was the inspiration behind the name change, as well as a touching reminder of Gwendoline whose fate is left unknown.

The movie then cuts to “some time later” and ends with a slightly extended version of Ludwig meeting Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) and Maria (Ana de la Reguera). They show him the blueprints of the Götterdämmerung which we know, from Army of the Dead, is in Bly Tanaka’s Las Vegas casino.

Safe to say, Ludwig’s trip to Las Vegas didn’t work out great for him as even though he completed the Ring Cycle of safes, he seemingly died to protect Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) from Zeus. However, Snyder has been teasing that Ludwig might not be as dead as we thought.

army of the dead

Netflix

“Clearly, he’s used his money to open a locksmith shop [in California]. I don’t know that he’s done a ton other than [accrue] a clientele. He certainly has a lot of confidence in his ability to [install] locks on their back porches,” he told Inverse.

“But the real adventure would be to see what happened to him when that safe door closed. Did he get killed by Zeus or not? What happened? 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 [he] survives. And there’s a chance that brush with death would have caused him to want to find a jailed Gwendoline.”

Army of Thieves is available to watch on Netflix.

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How Netflix’s Army of Thieves links to Army of the Dead

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