This December, Netflix will release Zack Snyder’s second original film, the space opera “Rebel Moon.” But the film almost met a very different fate: It began as a director’s idea for a new “Star Wars” film, which he pitched to Lucasfilm shortly after the company was sold to Disney in 2012. And according to Snyder, that tone is was a bit of a non-starter, in part due to his insistence that the film should be R-rated.
In an interview with Empire magazineSnyder recalled pitching a new “Star Wars” film to Lucasfilm, saying he made the proposal because ““There was that window where, you know, who knows what’s possible?” However, he said the tone didn’t was able to take off due to its requirements for the film, which included focusing on an entirely new set of characters and going for a mature, R-rated tone.
I was like, ‘I don’t want any of your characters. I don’t want to do anything with any known characters, I just want to do my own thing on the side,” Snyder told Empire. “And at first I was like, ‘It should be R-rated!’ It was almost a bust.
After the talk went nowhere, Snyder – then best known for ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ ‘300,’ and ‘Watchmen’ – joined Warner Bros. to help establish the ‘DC Extended Universe,’ directing the Superman film “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”. He left the production of “Justice League” after the death of his teenage daughter, but later returned to film for his own version of the “Snyder Cut.” After leaving DC, he directed “Army of the Dead” for Netflix, and eventually reworked his “Star Wars” tone into what became “Rebel Moon.”
“I knew it was a huge request, to be honest,” Snyder said of the initial ‘Star Wars’ launch. “But the deeper I got into it, I realized it was probably never going to be what I wanted.” He ended up getting what he wanted with “Rebel Moon”, albeit with some compromises; the film will initially be released in a PG-13 rated cut on Netflix, with an R-rated extended version of the film coming to the platform later.
Snyder directs “Rebel Moon” from a script he co-wrote with Kurt Johnstad and Shay Hatten. The film, which features an ensemble cast that includes Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Michiel Huisman, Djimon Hounsou, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Cleopatra Coleman, Jena Malone, Fra Fee, Ed Skrein and Anthony Hopkins, will be released on Netflix on December 22. and will also receive a limited theatrical release. A second film, “Rebel Moon Part 2”, was shot back-to-back with the original; a release date has yet to be announced for the follow-up.