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Zack Snyder's team is thrilled Rebel Moon isn't another Star Wars

Zack Snyder's new Netflix movie started as a Lucasfilm project, but didn't stay that way

Rebel Moon
Image credit: Netflix

On the face of it, there are certain surface similarities between Star Wars and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Netflix sci-fi movie series, Rebel Moon. Turns out, there’s a reason for that: it started as a Star Wars project — but everyone involved in the movie’s production seem to be very relieved that’s no longer the case.

"I remember [Zack] calling me at some point, and this has got to be 15 years ago, saying, ‘I'm thinking of doing Seven Jedi in the Star Wars universe,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, that's a cool idea,’” producer Eric Newman told /Film during a promotional roundtable for the feature. “Then, a few years later, he calls me and goes, ‘You know, I think it could be a television show.’ I'm like, ‘Yes, let's do this! Fuck Star Wars! Let's do this as a TV show.’”

Deborah Snyder, Zack’s wife and producing partner, shared that she was also happy when the Star Wars connection fell away.

“Once, it was a Star Wars film, and I never wanted it to be. I remember, I said to Zack, ‘I just feel like your hands are going to be tied so much in what that IP is,’ even though it kind of lived outside of it. So I was kind of happy when that fell apart, because I always felt like it was better,” she said. “We learned so much with all our years working with the superheroes and creating those worlds, and to do something now that's wholly original — we got to do a little bit of that in the world of zombies, and with Las Vegas [in the Netflix Army of the Dead movie], but to do something that is fantastical, we say it's a science fantasy more than science fiction, and to take all those skills that Zack has been honing, and to do something in this space, just seemed really exciting.”

There’s more to the science fantasy tag than it might seem; producer Newman revealed that there’s an unexpected influence behind Rebel Moon that goes in a different direction from the Star Wars and Kurosawa of it all.

“One of the movies that we talked a lot about way back when, from the beginning, I think we probably bonded over it, was Heavy Metal, which I know most of you know. It was an R-rated science fantasy thing that kind of blew our minds, and you're going to see that there are a lot of influences, and a lot of that has made its way into this film.”

For those unfamiliar with the Heavy Metal movie, it’s a wild and weird animated adaptation of multiple shorts from the European sci-fi anthology comic of the same name that features the work of Bernie Wrightson, Richard Corben, Alien writer Dan O’Bannon, and more, voiced by a cast that includes John Candy, Harold Ramis, and Eugene Levy, and music by Black Sabbath, DEVO, and Cheap Trick amongst many, many others. The idea that Rebel Moon has some Heavy Metal in its DNA teases a far, far stranger movie than even last week’s teaser suggested.

Rebel Moon will be released December 22, 2023.

There’s already a director’s cut of Rebel Moon in the works, according to Snyder. In the future, everything will be Snyder Cuts, all the way down.

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Graeme McMillan

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Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.