Netflix has released the first trailer for Rebel Moon, and not only is Zack Snyder back, baby, but it’s nice to see him working outside of the DCU again.
I’d had my doubts about Rebel Moon, which initially struck me as a failed idea for a Star Wars movie featuring a B-list cast led by Sofia Boutella (The Mummy), but after watching this nearly four-minute “teaser,” I have to give Snyder credit for the level of world-building on display here. It looks truly impressive, as Netflix clearly gave him a large canvas on which to paint. Snyder may not have shelled out for huge stars, but that’s because I suspect he knows that he is the star now, having become one of few directors who can actually put butts in seats with their name alone — a short list, no doubt.
Of course, I’m not really sure exactly when Zack Snyder became “Zack Snyder” to modern movie fandom. I don’t recall there being such a fervor around the director when Man of Steel hit theaters in 2013, so I’m going to assume that it was sometime around the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. I’d been a longtime fan, as I really enjoyed his Dawn of the Dead remake as well as his adaptations of 300 and Watchmen, though Snyder started to lose me with Sucker Punch.
Still, after suffering the slings and arrows of many DC fans, including myself, as well as a personal tragedy within his family, Snyder returned with Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which was not only an improvement over the theatrical cut of the film, but it demonstrated the director’s resilience as an artist.
Snyder’s last film, the 2021 zombie movie Army of the Dead, was released by Netflix, where it was watched by 72 million households in its four weeks of release, though the streamer hopes it proves to be merely an appetizer for Rebel Moon, which it will release in two parts — A Child of Fire will hit Netflix on Dec. 22, while The Scargiver will arrive on April 19, 2024.
Boutella plays Kora, a fierce and mysterious young woman recruiting trained fighters who can help her ward off an impending invasion being mounted by a tyrant known as Regent Balisarius (Fra Free). She quickly assembles a small band of warriors — outsiders, insurgents, peasants, and orphans of war from different worlds — who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.
Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins narrates the Rebel Moon teaser, and the cast also includes Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, Ray Fisher, Ed Skrein, Jena Malone, Doona Bae, Michiel Huisman, Cleopatra Coleman, Cary Elwes, and Corey Stoll, who sports quite the beard here.
Besides Star Wars, the film is reportedly an homage to the work of Akira Kurosawa, albeit if The Seven Samurai had taken place in space and cost nine figures. According to reports, the cost of both Rebel Moon movies came to $166 million, which makes them a relative bargain, and I’m sure Netflix saved some money by shooting them back-to-back. The streamer apparently smells a franchise here, and this teaser looks like it could be a step in the right direction by virtue of looking a little less generic than “franchise” titles such as Red Notice and Heart of Stone.
I was going to end the post here, but we are in the middle of a WGA strike, after all, so I should note that Snyder co-wrote the Rebel Moon script with his past collaborators Shay Hatten (Army of the Dead) and Kurt Johnstad (300). He also produced the film with his Stone Quarry partners Deborah Snyder and Wesley Coller as well as Eric Newman of Grand Electric, whose Sarah Bowen served as an executive producer.
Check out the eye-popping trailer for Rebel Moon below: