Zack Snyder’s space opera “Rebel Moon” is coming to Netflix at the end of the year, but it would’ve been a “Star Wars” movie had the “Justice League” director’s original plan for the project panned out. The idea for “Rebel Moon” started out as a pitch for a Snyder-directed “Star Wars” movie that Lucasfilm heard after Disney acquired the studio in 2012 for $4.05 billion. Snyder was in post-production on “Man of Steel” when he made his “Star Wars” pitch to Lucasfilm.
Snyder said in a new interview with Empire magazine that “a ‘Star Wars’ movie” was “my original concept” for “Rebel Moon,” adding, “It was ‘Seven Samurai’ in space. I knew that the origins for George [Lucas] were a lot of those Kurosawa films.”
“The sale [of Lucasfilm to Disney] had just happened,” Snyder continued. “There was that window where, you know, who knows what’s possible? I was like, ‘I don’t want any of your characters. I don’t want to do anything with any known characters, I just want to do my own thing on the side.’ And originally I was like, ‘It should be rated R!’ That was almost a non-starter.”
With no pre-existing characters in the mix and a potential R-rated story, Snyder was fully aware that his “Star Wars” pitch was a tough sell.
“I knew it was a big ask, to be honest,” Snyder said. “But the deeper I got into it, I realized it was probably never going to be what I wanted.”
“Rebel Moon” is a space opera that follows a young woman living in a peaceful colony on the outskirts of the galaxy. She’s given the task of finding warriors who can fend off an impending invasion by the despotic Regent Balisarius. The cast includes Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, Ray Fisher, Doona Bae, Jena Malone, Staz Nair, E. Duffy and Michiel Huisman.
“Rebel Moon” was written as one movie, but Netflix became hesitant after Snyder delivered a 172-page draft. At that length, “Rebel Moon” would’ve clocked around three hours. The filmmaker and the studio then agreed to split the project into two movies, the first of which arrives in December. Snyder also told Vanity Fair earlier this year that each film will receive two cuts. One cut is a movie that “anyone can enjoy and watch,” and one cut will be more explicit and strictly for adults.
“I think for fans of mine and people who are ready to take a deeper, harder dive, that’ll be fun for them,” Snyder added.
“Rebel Moon” streams Dec. 22 on Netflix.