Zack Snyder’s Netflix era continues with the first trailer for his might-be sci-fi epic, Rebel Moon. Originally pitched as a potential Star Wars film—with new characters and maybe even an R rating—Snyder’s idea died on the vine in the wake of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm. So he pivoted, reworking the concept with his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder, and eventually screenwriters Kurt Johnstad (who worked with Snyder on 300, and wrote Atomic Blonde) and Shay Hatten (who previously worked with Snyder on Army of the Dead and Army of Thieves, as well as co-writing John Wicks Chapter 3 and 4). Rebel Moon is now, technically, an original concept, a two-part space adventure about warring planets and a Chosen One who will bring peace to the galaxy, with the first film dropping on Netflix on December 22.


Clearly, the Star Wars roots still show. I mean, there’s full-on light sabers in the trailer. You can put whatever aftereffects you want on it, those are light sabers. The desaturated colors—though, notably not as grey and grim as some of Snyder’s previous work—also recall Denis Villeneuve’s desert-washed Dune (as does the ululating, Arabic-infused vocalizations on the soundtrack), as does the heavy emphasis on space royalty and a sand-covered urchin challenging The Order Of Things. Plus, the griffin-esque flying bird beast reminds me of Buckbeak. 

It’s not exactly the freshest looking film. Even the titles of the two-part saga, Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire and Rebel Moon: Part Two – The Scargiver, look like Mission: Impossible’s too much punctuation nonsense. And the big thematic line Anthony Hopkins delivers in voice over sounds familiar: A king is a man, and a man can fail, but a myth is indestructible. It’s Barbie, y’all—Humans only have one end, but an idea lives forever.


Rebel Moon stars Sofia Boutella as “Kora”, the dirt-smeared Chosen One. Since the theme is built on the same “ideas are unkillable” and the protagonist is a girl, does this mean Rebel Moon exists in the Barbie cinematic universe? Somebody PLEASE ask Zack Snyder this question, presuming he does press for this movie. I want to see his face when someone compares his space opera to Barbie. I live for small pleasures, please don’t deny me this! 

But I will give credit where credit is due—Zack Snyder is 1) going big with a (somewhat) original idea, and 2) has surrounded himself with amazing collaborators. Besides screenwriters Hatten and Johnstad, both of whom have done excellent work in the bone-crushing practical action space, the Rebel Moon cast is stacked. Boutella is joined by Djimon Honsou, Charlie Hunnam, Doona Bae, Jenna Malone, Ray Fisher, Ed Skrein, Anthony Hopkins (voicing a robot, a job I’m sure he loved), and Michiel Huisman. 

I know Charlie Hunnam is a lot of people’s flavor, but this is what Michiel Huisman looks like in Rebel Moon:

Charlie Hunnam as Kai, Michiel Huisman as Gunnar, Sofia Boutella as Kora, Staz Nair as Tarak and Djimon Hounsou as Titus in 'Rebel Moon' 

Please also observe British actor Staz Nair looking very fine to the right of Sofia Boutella. I’m going to watch the sh-t out of Rebel Moon just for the eye candy.