- "Once the shining star of horror, Willard Wyler's crafted the most captivating films that hypnotized audiences and left them begging for more... blood. Years ago, the genius director slowly retreated into obscurity; never to be seen again. Or so everyone thought... Now he's back — ready to deliver thrills, chills, style, a gripping story — and of course, a body count!"
- — Official Biography
Willard Wyler had been directing films for over 40 years before the events of the Zombies game mode. Willard Wyler previously wrote and directed two films, Disco Devil and Nightmare Summer released on June 13, 1975, and April 13, 1979, respectively. At some point, Wyler married a woman named Alexandra, and they had a daughter, Winona Lee Wyler. Tragically, Alexandra died of cancer when Winona was only six years old. After the loss of his wife, Willard began to bury himself in his work, and distanced himself from Winona, as her face reminded him of Alexandra and caused him too much pain.
At some point, Willard made a deal with Mephistopheles, and sold his soul, in exchange for the ability to trap others in his own movies, so that they become victims to the monsters within the films. Two of the earliest victims under Willard's hands were the director-actor duo Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, who were criticized by Willard for ruining the legacy of his films. They were trapped inside one of Willard's films, Rave in the Redwoods, with Kevin being turned into a chainsaw-wielding Slasher, and Jason being his first victim. As time goes on, Willard would often send those who defy his will into Rave, to let them be killed either by zombies or the Slasher.
When Winona became an adult, she fell in love with Matthew Mason, who was at the time working for Willard. Willard himself didn't approve of the relationship, but let Matthew marry her on the condition that he hyphenate his last name with Wyler's, so that his grandchildren can continue his legacy. Sometime after Winona and Matthew were married, Willard's film company started to go under. He refused to sell it to anyone else, so Winona decided to go her own way and start her own film company with Matthew. When Winona told her father, he was furious, accusing her and Matthew of betraying him. He then transports the two into Rave, where they are killed by the Slasher. He covered up their deaths by claiming that they died in an unrecovered plane crash off the coast of Bora Bora in one of his private jets.
While under the influence of Mephistopheles, Willard still remains some part of his former self, who feels regret and guilt, because of his actions. Through Mephistopheles, Willard attempts to recruit actors to take part in his movies, hoping that someone would eventually be able to defeat Mephistopheles' influence, and release Willard from his state. Among them were David Hasselhoff, Kevin Smith, who entered the film alongside Jason Mewes, Pam Grier, and Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson. He refers to one group of celebrities as the 'original four' However, they all failed to work together, and were trapped in four separate movies: Hasselhoff within Zombies in Spaceland, Kevin in Rave in the Redwoods, Pam in Shaolin Shuffle, and Elvira in Attack of the Radioactive Thing. Eventually, Willard looked into the profiles of four young actors: Andre Wright, Sally Simpson, Poindexter Zittermann and Aaron "A.J." Jordaniels, all of whom he deemed worthy to save him from his prison.
Events of Zombies
In the intro of Zombies in Spaceland, Willard invites Andre Wright, Sally Simpson, Poindexter Zittermann and Aaron "A.J." Jordaniels to his theater, where he explains they will play a part in his return to the big screen, telling them of the first scene of Spaceland. After leaving the viewing room and manically laughing, Willard enters the projector room, where he performs a ritual in order to trap the four in the movie.
However, with the aid of Hasselhoff, the four manage to ruin Willard's plan and manage to acquire one of the fragmented pieces of the Soul Key. Angered by this, Willard sends the four to Rave in the Redwoods, hoping that they would die by Kevin's hands. However, they manage to obtain another piece of the Soul Key from within the movie, while defeating Kevin in his Slasher form at the same time. Willard continuously tries to challenge the four actors, sending them into Shaolin Shuffle and Attack of the Radioactive Thing respectively. But with the help of Pam and Elvira, they emerge triumphant in the end and acquire the respective Soul Key pieces from these movies as well. He then sends them to The Beast From Beyond, where after an intense fight against an ancient race known as Cryptids, they come back to the Theater. As he congratulates the four for their efforts, he is so dragged off to the viewing room by Andre and A.J. As he tries to plea with the four, he is locked within the viewing room as Poindexter turns on Zombies in Spaceland. Willard tries to explain that countless souls are at stake, but he is ultimately sucked into the film.
Despite this however, he was able to escape the film and return to his theater directly after the four actors defeated Mephistopheles. While the actors are initially shocked at his return, he tells them that this was why he chose them, saying there is much work to be done.
Willard Wyler can be played as a playable character in the map Zombies in Spaceland once the player has completed all of the easter eggs in the game in Director's Cut and defeated Mephistopheles at the end of the Director's Cut version of The Beast from Beyond. Once this is done, the player can insert the code in the pre-game lobby of Zombies in Spaceland via the D-Pad, which is Left, Left, Down, Up, Up, Right. It should be noted that this code can only be inserted if Director's Cut is enabled.
Unlike the other playable characters, Willard doesn't spawn in with a Kendall 44 as his primary weapon. Instead, he spawns in with his Malice dagger as his primary weapon, with the Kendall 44 becoming his secondary.
- "In Willard Wyler’s DISCO DEVIL, a young demon from the underworld is cast out for his love of disco dance music. When he attempts to rock the dance floor, he’s met with an otherworldly resistance that brings down the house. Written and directed by Willard Wyler. Released June 13, 1975."
- — Synopsis
- "Four high school friends ditched class and found a secluded beach off the beaten path to throw a wild party. Little did they know... something sinister was lurking under the sand beneath their feet. NIGHTMARE SUMMER: Written and directed by Willard Wyler. Released April 13, 1979."
- — Synopsis
- Both of his films were released on a Friday 13th - a hint to his devilish acts, as Friday 13th is considered to be a day of bad luck - or even death - in western cultures.
- According to Lee Ross, Wyler's character is mainly based on real-life German-born American director William Wyler, as well as other directors including Alfred Hitchcock and John Waters.