Zack Snyder has long been seen as a director with a keen understanding of the action and science fiction genres, but his newest effort, Rebel Moon, could be the best movie he has ever made. Rebel Moon promises a sprawling and epic storyline focusing on a young woman who is recruited to fight back against a rapacious regent and, as such, fits neatly into the space opera tradition of franchises such as Star Wars. Rebel Moon has the potential to tap into the existing desire for epic sci-fi storytelling, while also setting out on its own trajectory and avoiding franchise fatigue.
Zack Snyder is a director with a distinct visual and narrative style. Whether in the DCEU Snyderverse movies or 300, Snyder often presents worlds of great beauty and tremendous brutality. His characters are often deeply-flawed people, but there is a core of humanity to them – something that helps ground the characters as they contend with the ugly reality of being heroes. Given how much skill Snyder has already shown as a director, it will be particularly fascinating to see him handle the huge canvas offered with a movie like Rebel Moon.
6 Rebel Moon Already Looks Visually Great
Footage from the trailer already shows just how spectacular Rebel Moon is going to be. It is filled with potent kinetic energy and stunning action set-pieces. Given that this is a Zack Snyder movie, there are also plenty of explosions, with a weighty voiceover to show just how important all of these matters are to Rebel Moon‘s fictional universe. The amount of footage that has been revealed may be sparse, but it shows a remarkable level of detail, with the kind of meticulousness for which Snyder is rightfully famous.
The production design makes it clear just how much has been invested into Rebel Moon. The Netflix movie is clearly going to be the type of space opera designed for an immersive experience, taking place within a fictional universe in which it is possible to get lost. Production design is vital in sci-fi, as it helps to capture and convey the sense of lived-in reality so important to the stories the genre often tells. If the Netflix statement and Rebel Moon trailer are anything to go by, this will be a true science fiction extravaganza.
5 Rebel Moon Began As A Star Wars Idea
Snyder and Netflix clearly intend for Rebel Moon to be the beginning of a new franchise – a jumping-off point that will allow for the development of new movies, TV shows, and other spinoffs. However, Snyder has previously explained that the movie was conceived as a Star Wars project that would take the franchise in a more mature direction after the mixed reception that greeted the prequel trilogy. The purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney changed those plans, and Snyder had to rework his story so that it could stand on its own.
Nevertheless, Rebel Moon having a basis in Star Wars bodes well for its success. After all, Star Wars has long excelled at the sort of world-building that makes for a successful franchise, and in order for Snyder to have earned his Lucasfilm pitch, he would have needed to make sure his story idea had a strong foundation. Though this fictional universe will no doubt possess similarities to the galaxy that has become such a prominent part of pop culture, Rebel Moon will be different enough from Star Wars that it can function on its own.
4 The Rebel Moon Cast Is Impressive
Rebel Moon, in keeping with the director’s keen cinematic eye, is already slated to feature an impressive cast. Sofia Boutella has been cast as the movie’s hero, Kora, and Rebel Moon will give her an opportunity to build on an already impressive resume. Comic book movie star Djimon Honsou, who has a lengthy career in the industry, is also confirmed to appear. These two heavy-hitters are joined by a number of other big names in Hollywood, including a robot Anthony Hopkins, Cary Elwes, and Ed Skrein, with the Game of Thrones alum slated to portray the Rebel Moon villain, Balisarius.
One key appeal of a movie like Rebel Moon is its visual effects. Just as important, however, are those chosen to depict its heroes and villains. Franchises like Star Wars work not only because they are a visual feast, but also because they have characters who are charismatic, even if they aren’t always perfect. Snyder has frequently shown a genius streak when it comes to hiring the perfect people to populate his movies, and his casting of Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel is particularly inspired.
3 Netflix Will Give Snyder Creative Freedom
It is clear that major creators like Zack Snyder benefit from Netflix deals and the creative freedom they give. One need look no further than the likes of David Fincher and Shonda Rhimes to see how much freedom, and money, a big name creator can gain on Netflix. Both Fincher and Rhimes have managed to create visually stunning productions on the streaming platform. Rhimes’ Bridgerton has become a franchise in its own right, while Fincher’s Mank earned ten Academy Award nominations.
Zack Snyder was, of course, a prominent name even before he landed at Netflix. He has an authorial and directorial identity that is easily recognizable, though this has not prevented him from being constricted by the dictates of franchises of which he was just a part – namely the DCEU. Rebel Moon is an extraordinary opportunity for Snyder to expand his artistic horizons. He can mold Rebel Moon, and the universe of which it is a part, in a way he has not previously been allowed to by other franchises.
2 Rebel Moon Will Help Build A New Franchise
In addition to being a great fit for Snyder’s cinematic talents, Rebel Moon will also afford him the opportunity to build a cinematic brand. Zack Snyder has already shown that he can excel within previously-established franchises – most notably the DCEU – and the deal with Netflix means he can now expand an original seed of a Star Wars movie idea into a full series. Rebel Moon 2 is already on the way, filmed back-to-back with the first, which means there are still a lot of stories to tell.
With the Rebel Moon story giving Snyder such a vast canvas, he finally can create the sort of immersive universe he has clearly always wanted to craft. Snyder can take his place alongside other giant figures who have made their mark on the world of speculative fiction storytelling – individuals such as Kevin Feige of the MCU and, most recently, James Gunn and Peter Safran with the DCEU. Franchises are clearly the order of the day in Hollywood, and it makes sense that Snyder would want to ensure his creative legacy with one of his own.
1 Zack Snyder Is Perfect For Epic Sci-Fi
Zack Snyder primarily made his name in two genres: superheroes and horror. While those two realms are not necessarily connected to epic sci-fi movies of 2023 like Rebel Moon, both genres give directors opportunities to create worlds that do not necessarily obey the rules of physics. Snyder has shown great skill in using these genres to explore weighty philosophical issues, most notably in his contributions to the DCEU and Watchmen, both of which contain melancholic rumination about the nature of heroism.
It will, therefore, be very exciting to see what Snyder does with a massive sci-fi project like Rebel Moon. The Netflix movie is more straightforwardly associated with science fiction than anything Snyder has done before. In particular, it can be categorized as a space opera – a subgenre of sci-fi that is perfect for the type of grandiose style that Zack Snyder has perfected and made his own with his other cinematic projects. Armed with a large budget and a great deal of creative freedom, Snyder can leave the same giant impression on sci-fi as he has with the other genres in which he has worked.