Millions of fans around the globe think Zack Snyder is a filmmaking deity. From Sucker Punch to his regaled version of Justice League, his portfolio is more of a golden collection of ancient scripts. We’re talking about breaking out the fatted calf reverence here. And then, other cinephiles saw Watchmen, 300, and all of Zack’s DC Comics creations. Yet, those folks feel the guy is full of hot air and overrated hype.
Everyone knows his latest production, Rebel Moon, whatever side of the “Snyder or Suck” fence. The Netflix film has already become legendary on both sides of the film-loving pasture. This will be the second offering with his Netflix partnership following Army of the Dead. FYI: that’s currently sitting at a mediocre 67% on Rotten Tomatoes and a lackluster 57% on Metacritic.
Yet, when he announced Rebel Moon and its plot, nerds everywhere committed to streaming it. Like, as within the first few hours of its release sometime during Q4 2023. So, in the spirit of the Almighty Listicle at Geek Vibes Nation, let’s chat up this sci-fi flick at a respective feverish pitch.
These are the Top 10 things we know about Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon
10. All That Glitters is Gold (and Other Metals)
Only a few actors in any project garner the attention of most critics and cinephiles. Among them is Sir Anthony Hopkins. He made Odin believable, Hannibal Lecter wicked, Hitchcock resurrected, and Van Helsing formidable. And now, thanks to a strategic tweet from Zach Snyder during Netflix Geeked Week, we know Hopkins will lend his velvety Shakespearean oratory to a menacing robot in Rebel Moon.
“Jimmy,” model number JC1435, was once the sentient protector of a slain king who looked like he strolled into hell for a holiday. Oh man, Rebel Moon is going to be good!
9. Casting (Call) a Wide Net
The ensemble cast of Rebel Moon features Oscars, Emmys, BAFTAs, and a few other awards that will cause a fireplace mantle to cave. Hopkins is the latest to join the geeky club, which recently welcomed Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw) and Corey Stoll (House of Cards, Billions). The film’s center revolves around Sofia Boutella, and say what you will about The Mummy, but that girl can build tension in a sci-fi flick.
Along with them, we have read news about Charlie Hunnam (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Sons of Anarchy), Doona Bae (Jupiter Ascending, Cloud Atlas), Ray Fisher (The guy was effin’ Cyborg!), Rupert Friend (Infinite and he is the Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi), Stuart Martin (Army of Thieves, Medici), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Sucker Punch), Ed Skrein (Deadpool…he was Ajax/Alita: Battle Angel), Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adaline, The Flight Attendant), and Alfonso Herrera (The Exorcist TV series, Queen of the South).
And the teasers of the Rebel Moon ensemble all began with Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Amistad) and a grim visage of what looks like death, or at least a nasty snarl of whoop @$$.
8. Getting Horny
One day, Zack Snyder was goofing around on his iPhone, caught something among what looked like a sidewalk vent by a New York subway, and we got this magic…
Seriously, Zack is not messing around with Rebel Moon. We have more than a year to go to see this thing, and we’re already getting glimpses of an extraterrestrial villain–some enigmatic horned hostess poised to throttle at the gates of hell. It’s no secret Snyder loves bathing his characters in the elements, usually the murky, dank ones. But when you are as crafty at it as he is, who will care? No one was anticipating this movie.
7. Going Rogue
Here is the official summary of Rebel Moon:
The story tells of a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy that is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Belisarius (Skrein). Desperate, the colonists dispatch a young woman (Boutella) with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand.
If that seems slightly familiar but you can’t quite place it, may this will help:
Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen becomes the Empire’s lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, Jyn joins forces with a spy and other resistance fighters to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance.
Evil empire turf war? Check. Recruiting a young heroine to infiltrate said empire? Check Check. Did we mention Zack Snyder is a giant nerd and loves Star Wars? Well, he does, and, although the geek auteur is not at all plagiarizing, the guy may have been inspired by the fill-in story of the Skywalker Saga, Rogue One.
And we are here for it!
6. Reunited and It Feels So Good
As everyone knows, Rebel Moon will be directed by Zack Snyder. Helming a science fiction flick in a hostile universe is not far-fetched for the boss. Since this is familiar territory for Zack and Deborah, he is getting some folks together for Ol’ times’ sake. Joining him in the writing department will be Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad,
- Johnstad co-wrote with Snyder before with 300 and its sequel 300: Rise of an Empire
- Hatten is in comfortable territory as this is the 5th time Netflix has offered a job, previously with Zack Snyder and Army of the Dead. There will also be three future Netflix films: The German language prequel Army of Thieves, an Army of the Dead anime spin-off in “Lost Vegas,” and the vampiric tale with Jamie Foxx called Day Shift.
- Grand Electric’s Eric Newman is also reuniting with Snyder way back from the boss’ first directorial job, Dawn of the Dead (2004).
5. The Kurosawa Effect
Rebel Moon has an interesting concept, which we’ve already discussed (see #7). However, a much more daunting shadow under which Zack Snyder will be filming is legendary director Akira Kurosawa. His masterpiece, The Seven Samurai, a seminal work in 1954, is one many cinephile historians believe is the first modern action movie. Check out the plot summary:
A samurai answers a village’s request for protection after he falls on hard times. The town needs protection from bandits, so the samurai gathers six others to help him teach the people how to defend themselves, and the villagers provide the soldiers with food. A giant battle occurs when 40 bandits attack the village.
If that is somewhat familiar to you, scroll back up to No. 7 and read the summary for Rebel Moon. Zack Snyder has put together an eclectic gathering of actors to make up a motley crew who will battle enemies of the state. In a quote from The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder spoke poignantly about his geekdom:
“This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan. It’s my love of sci-fi and a giant adventure,” Snyder said of Rebel Moon. “My hope is that this also becomes a massive IP and a universe that can be built out… I’ve spent the last two or three years building out this universe. Every corner has to be painted in. I’ve been doing designs, constantly drawing, and really cultivating its fertile ground to make this world fully realized.”
(BONUS: Scroll to the bottom once you’re done reading for another manifestation from Kurosawa’s inspiration.)
4. Barry Bonds Don’t Have Steroids This Big
This image was the first of several depicting the filming of Rebel Moon. When someone considers “breaking the Internet,” this nerd utopian vantage point into the future created the quaking under our Vans or Chuck Taylors. If your browser broke on that day, not even a Hulk Smash could annihilate a geek web more:
“The beginning of Man of Steel has some pretty big science fiction elements in it,” Snyder told the Post-Credit Podcast in November 2021. “That’s kind of what we’re doing in Rebel Moon. But on the biggest steroids that I can give it. And that’s frankly, what I’m really interested with this movie is creating a romantic sci-fi film on a scale that is just frankly as big as you can make a movie, and that’s the thing that really makes me excited.”
Zack Snyder is not set out to make a great movie, a new idea of science fiction, or even to break Netflix streaming records. This is global domination because that man owns some steroids. Hell, just look at the cast of 300 and tell me there weren’t some shiny pills or cream-and-clear laying around. Rebel Moon is going to crater anything in its path!
3. Take Two
In what is usually created as a way to
fleece moviegoers for one more round…eh, continue a fantastic storyline, Rebel Moon is actually two movies that are being filmed concurrently. Netflix advised anyone (via The Hollywood Reporter) who is interested that the plan is “to split the project into two epic features,” as well as the possibility for spin-offs or sequels.
And both will be made “as big as you can make a movie!” By the way, when you cut the cord and kept Netflix, this is the “why” to tell your cable-loving friends.
2. You Got the Time?
If you see the “Day 1” tweet from Zack Snyder, filming and production began April 19, 2022. The trade media has collectively advised November 2022 will be a wrap. So, when will the public get to stream it–or watch it if it goes to the movies? No one knows but it sounds like a Q3 2023 release. But, as much time we will have invested in waiting for it, the boss still beats us into the time used making this film. As he said to THR in 2021:
“I’ve spent the last two or three years building out this universe. Every corner has to be painted in. I’ve been doing designs, constantly drawing and really cultivating its fertile ground to make this world fully realized.”
And that’s just to make it. We already know Zack Snyder loves long films, but here, he’s planning to cut two at the same time. Oh yes, please! Another note from What’s On Netflix, there is going to be a ton of VFX and editing.
Filming will span from March 1 until August 31, 2022. However, a recent update from ProductionWeekly has revealed that the filming dates have been pushed forward by over a month, and are now scheduled to begin on April 18th, 2022, and will come to an end by November 4th, 2022 [sic].
That is only a few months for filming to wrap and then, off to do what Zack loves to do the most — blow our ever-loving minds! And it may take a year to do it. Oh yes, Warner Bros will hate Rebel Moon because this brainchild will be created by the golden goose they let get away.
1. A Failed Star Wars Pitch Could Forge a New Universe
It all began as a rumor about Zack Snyder making a “Star Wars Samurai” film. While that would have been incredibly dope, that wasn’t to be. Actually, Rebel Moon was first announced written as a “mature take” to fit within Star Wars and inside the Skywalker saga (possibly). It was turned down for some odd reasons, and that was more than a decade ago.
Over a span of three to four years, the boss has been tweaking, editing, and sitting on this rejected script from the Empire (or the Rebels). As Snyder shared in Movieweb:
It was right after they had done the prequels and before the sale [to Disney]. I just was like, ‘You know what? I could fix that. I could do something.’
And he did. That script is now Rebel Moon.
It was said that we wouldn’t be seeing another saga from Lucasfilm for quite some time. Since then, we have seen The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Feet, and now, the much-ballyhooed Obi-Wan Kenobi. There have been promises for another world from Rian Johnson and the guys from Game of Thrones. Whatever those create will be seen, but sometime in 2023, we will all visit Rebel Moon in a galaxy even farther and farther away.
Did you know Darth Vader’s helmet was crafted to look like a samurai’s helmet? It’s true. Evidently, I’m not the only one who knows that. YouTuber Batteries4Holden was in an Akira Kurosawa appreciation class and decided to make a video to show what else the Asian Auteur inspired, in this instance, through his masterpiece The Hidden Fortress in 1957. And this is so great.
Since he saw ‘Dune’ in the $1 movie theater as a kid, this guy has been a lover of geek culture. It wasn’t until he became a professional copywriter, ghostwriter, and speechwriter that he began to write about it (a lot).
From the gravitas of the Sith, the genius of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or the gluttony of today’s comic fan, SPW digs intelligent debate about entertainment. He’s also addicted to listicles, storytelling, useless trivia, and the Oxford comma. And, he prefers his puns intended.