Starting life as an idea he conceived in the 1980s while at film school, and once pitched to Lucasfilm as a possible Star Wars story, Snyder later retooled the project as a TV show and then a movie for Netflix, making Rebel Moon his second original film for the streamer after Army of the Dead.
Read on for everything you need to know about Rebel Moon.
Rebel Moon release date
Rebel Moon was originally planned to be released as one film, but has been split into two parts after Netflix requested a two-hour cut.
The first part, titled Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire, is now available to view on Netflix following its release on Friday 22 December. It will be followed by Rebel Moon: Part Two – The Scargiver on 19 April, 2024.
Never one to shy away from releasing a director's cut, Snyder also revealed that a special extended edition of the movie has also been made that has "close to an hour of extra content."
Speaking to Netflix's Tudum, the filmmaker explained: “The director’s [cut] is a settle-in deep dive, which I have notoriously done throughout my career... And with Netflix, we shot scenes just for the director’s cut. So in that way, it’s really a revelation because it gives that second kick at the can for big fans, like a real discovery that they would not [otherwise] get. I’m really excited about it!”
Rebel Moon reviews
Reviews for Snyder's sci-fi opus Rebel Moon have crash-landed online and despite all the alien action glimpsed in the trailers, it looks like the scariest thing in the universe is a difficult-to-please film critic.
The Independent wasn't a fan, saying that the movie was "a mess of imagery, some of it attempting to shock, congregated largely around the idea of what might look good in a trailer."
Digital Spy took a more nuanced approach, suggesting that your enjoyment of Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire "will lie in your tolerance for a Zack Snyder movie" with The Telegraph calling it "more of a loosely doodled mood board than a functioning film – a series of pulpy tableaux that mostly sound fun in isolation, but become numbingly dull when run side by side."
Read more reviews below:
The Independent: Zack Snyder’s Netflix epic is a borderline incoherent shambles (6-min read)
Digital Spy: Rebel Moon is an underwhelming start to Zack Snyder's new Netflix universe (5-min read)
The Telegraph: Netflix’s $150 million sci-fi epic is just Star Wars with scowls (3-min read)
Deadline: Zack Snyder’s Visual Splendor Meets Narrative Disarray (3-min read)
Rebel Moon trailer
A new trailer was revealed during Netflix's Geeked Week, with an official trailer for Rebel Moon's first film A Child of Fire previewed at the event.
Watch Rebel Moon Part One's official trailer:
A franchise trailer was revealed for Rebel Moon on Tuesday, 24 August which gave fans a glimpse not only at the first film in the series but also the second.
It showed glimpses of a colony on the edge of the galaxy who are forced to rise up against a tyrannical regime, and the trailer showed off thrilling action sequences and introduced viewers to characters that were sure to fascinate Snyder fans.
It was full of quintessential Snyder moments, like slow-motion shots, epic action scenes and striking visuals as it teased the plot through a voice-over by Anthony Hopkins' robot Jimmy.
Watch the teaser trailer for Rebel Moon:
Previously, a behind-the-scenes clip was revealed at Netflix's TUDUM fan event which teased what was to come in the forthcoming film.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 17, 2023
Rebel Moon plot
Inspired by Star Wars and Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Rebel Moon is a sci-fi epic about a space colony that becomes threatened by a tyrannical regime. Snyder has described it as "a space opera", set in a "dieselpunk world", while his producing (and real life) partner Deborah Snyder likens it to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones too.
Facing long odds, the undermanned colony dispatch a mysterious young woman to seek out warriors from other planets to form an alliance.
Snyder has co-written the original screenplay with Kurt Johnstad who he collaborated with on 300. Shay Hatten, who worked with Snyder on Army of the Dead, is also part of the writing team.
The film will be released in two versions: one for adults and another that is family friendly. “I think for fans of mine and people who are ready to take a deeper, harder dive, that’ll be fun for them,” Snyder said of the adult versions.
During an interview with Empire, Synder doubled down on the film's Lucas-inspired origins, telling them “It was Seven Samurai in space... And a Star Wars movie was my original concept for it.”
After revealing that the pitch kind of fizzled out, the Watchmen director went on to share ideas that he currently has for the future of this newly-created world - a future that involves spin-offs and a TV series focusing on the evil Balisarius.
"When I pitched it to Netflix, the scale was a thing they wanted," he explained. "They were like, 'Well, how big could it be? How many movies?' That made me go, 'Okay, if we really do this, we can sink our teeth pretty deep into this. We can't really hit the bottom'."
Also revealed? Some sort of project that connects parts one and two: "They're hoping that we bridge the two releases with some other things that we're working on," says Synder. Elsewhere, the director has also discussed plans for a Rebel Moon video game that will also help flesh out the story's world, describing its scope as "ridiculous scale."
Who stars in Rebel Moon?
Rebel Moon is a big ensemble movie. “I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t know why I always make an ensemble movie. I can’t wait to not do that. But in the meantime, of course…I love it,” Snyder told Vanity Fair.
The large cast features Atomic Blonde star Sofia Boutella in the lead as Kora in what will be the former dancer's biggest role to date. She has previously starred in Climax, SAS: Rogue Heroes and The Mummy.
The vast ensemble cast also includes Ed Skrein as the villainous Balisarius, a leader of the Imperium, as well as Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, Cary Elwes, Corey Stoll, Michiel Huisman, Jenna Malone and Korean star Doona Bae.
Anthony Hopkins will also be part of the cast and voice an android while Rebel Moon sees Snyder reunite with Ray Fisher after the two worked together on Justice League.
Rebel Moon Part 1 - A Child of Fire is streaming now on Netflix.