Snyder’s Rebel Moon germinated from watching Star Wars as an 11-year-old , Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Snyder’s Rebel Moon germinated from watching Star Wars as an 11-year-old

With its tale of a small band of warriors fighting an evil interplanetary empire, space opera Rebel Moon invites instant comparisons to the Star Wars films (1977 to date).

And that is because American writer-director Zack Snyder was directly inspired by them, at one point even pitching a version of this movie to Lucasfilm, the production company behind the long-running franchise.

Lucasfilm ultimately turned him down, but Snyder has now reworked the idea into a US$166 million ($219.8 million) two-part movie made for Netflix.

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child Of Fire is now on. Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver will be out in April.

Rebel Moon follows a farming colony on a remote moon that unwittingly angers the Motherworld, a brutal regime that dominates this planetary system.

To defend themselves, the farmers turn to a mysterious woman, Kora (Sofia Boutella), whom they took in after she crash-landed on their world.

A skilled fighter, she assembles a motley crew of warriors to help her take a stand against the Motherworld.

Snyder began working on the earliest versions of this screenplay some 20 years ago.

But “as a germ of an idea, this has existed since 1977, when I saw Star Wars and the 11-year-old me said, ‘I could do something like that. Maybe not as good, but close’,” recalls the 57-year-old.

He also drew on other classic films he watched later, including the American war drama The Dirty Dozen (1967) and the Japanese sword-fighting epic Seven Samurai (1954).

But Rebel Moon’s story has seen numerous iterations and changes over the years, which Snyder feels have moved it further and further away from his original inspiration.

“The truth is, it was almost going to be a television show, and we really had to change everything for the TV show, just to fill it out.

“And then when we put it back into movie form, there was a while there when I barely recognised its origins.

“So I felt like it had gone through enough of a grinder to grind out any Star Wars,” says Snyder, adding that any similarities that remain were a way “to make a statement about the pop culture” related to the franchise.

Not having Rebel Moon be part of an existing franchise or cinematic universe also afforded him greater freedom in building the mythology of this world – and potentially a bigger franchise – from scratch.

“I’ve done all the work, mythologically, that tells the story of the entire Motherworld. And we know the entire history of the Motherworld even though it’s not expressed in the movie.

“That work is important because as we go forward – god willing – you have to always be ready and plan for (the future),” says the film-maker, who helmed the zombie heist movie Army Of The Dead (2021) and historical actioner 300 (2006).

Snyder came up with detailed backstories for all the key characters in Rebel Moon, including the heroine Kora.

And for this and other reasons, Sofia Boutella, the 41-year-old Algerian actress who plays her, says making Rebel Moon was an all-consuming affair.

“We shot for 153 days and we immersed ourselves so much in this space that we were in and the characters that we played,” she says.

“And seeing the end result was mesmerising and so magical.”