While a group of fans scream for the restoration of Zack Snyder’s DCEU, the filmmaker has moved on to a new project, Rebel Moon. The sci-fi adventure that originally started out as a Star Wars pitch has now been reworked into an upcoming Netflix film. But what if it ends up being better than the recent movies from a galaxy far, far away?
What is Rebel Moon?
Over a decade ago, Snyder pitched an idea to Lucasfilm. He had a more mature take in mind that would’ve expanded the Star Wars world that fans know and love. However, the conversations took place around the same time that Disney acquired Lucasfilm, which resulted in many pitches and ideas being scrapped in favour of Disney’s new vision for the franchise.
Snyder, though, didn’t give up on his idea, thinking of how he could repackage the concept and toying with the possibility of it becoming a series. Eventually, he realised that it would work best as a feature and got writing along with screenwriters Shay Hatten (Army of the Dead) and Kurt Johnstad (300). Thanks to his relationship with Netflix, the project now known as Rebel Moon was greenlit and will debut on the streaming platform.
Discussing the film with The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder said, “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.”
The cast of Rebel Moon
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film centres around “a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy [that] is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Balisarius. Desperate, the colonists dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighbouring planets to help them make a stand.”
It’s still early days in Rebel Moon‘s production, with not much footage besides a few concept artwork shots shared; however, the casting has started to shape up to feature a formidable line-up of talented performers.
The likes of Charlie Hunnam, Jena Malone, Djimon Hounsou, Ray Fisher, and Sofia Boutella have all boarded the project, adding some serious star power to a film that’s likely to be set in the stars, too. Ironically, it’s the sort of cast you’d expect to see attached to something like, say, Star Wars…
The state of Star Wars
There’s no escaping it: The Skywalker Saga ended with more divisiveness than how it started. The last three films in this series stirred up a pot of drama, as many questioned if they truly added anything new to the story or were simply cashing in on the Star Wars name.
In fairness, there’s an adage that says, “No one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans” and it’s true. The franchise features one of the most critical of fandoms as they dissect the most minuscule of details or creative choices. And considering the nature of the hyperbolic and super-critical internet machine, you have to ask yourself if there ever will be a new Star Wars film that’s universally beloved again.
simply mesmerized by the new concept art from Zack Snyder’s REBEL MOON, a new sci-fi adventure film coming to Netflix pic.twitter.com/wIHuKgZ7Ck— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) February 9, 2022
Why Rebel Moon could be better than Star Wars
This is something that Rebel Moon doesn’t need to contend with. It has no attachment to any major franchise or predisposed notion of what it should be. Snyder is free to try and do anything he chooses—something that would be impossible with Disney’s Star Wars Universe.
It’s no secret that turbulence ran rife behind the scenes as Disney and Lucasfilm tried to control the style of Star Wars films put out, even chucking Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from Solo: A Star Wars Story at the eleventh hour because of a disagreement on creative direction. Unfortunately, filmmakers don’t seem to have much of a choice of how they execute these films, as they must toe the corporate line or hit the road.
Creatively, this is stifling. If everyone is adhering to the same format, it’s no longer art; it’s a product. While films can’t shy away from financial and market considerations, they become soulless and merely content if they become formulaic.
It’s unlikely that Disney would’ve ever produced Rebel Moon in the first place since it’s mature and wants to push boundaries, which means it would be divisive like a lot of Snyder’s other films. That said, as it stands, Rebel Moon has no pressure to sell toys or please a rabid fanbase with decades of investment in a franchise. Perhaps it will be accepted for what it is and delight an audience that craves something new and not another copy-paste version of Jedi versus Sith for the umpteenth time.