Always the rabblerouser, filmmaker Zack Snyder lit up both ends of the candle this year with a four-hour rendition of his long-heralded self-titled Justice League on HBO Max, and action-packed dystopian zombie romp, Army Of The Dead, which has its own franchise currently brewing on Netflix.
As of May, the latter claimed the badge of most-streamed title, beating out the recently-canceled Jupiter’s Legacy series, continual proof that the Sucker Punch helmer is what’s working for the streamer after his underappreciated run at HBO Max, and despite any and all fan fervor to get us all back to the DC Snyderverse. And so it is, for Snyder’s current trajectory being the only way forward, we now look to his newest endeavor, Rebel Moon, initially announced by The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit and then by the streamer late Tuesday.
When a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of the tyrannical Regent Balisarius, they dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them take a stand.
Snyder will once again reteam with Shay Hatten (Army Of The Dead) and Kurt Johnstad (300) penning the script, storied by Snyder and Johnstad. Snyder is also producing with wife and Deborah Snyder alongside Wesley Coller via The Stone Quarry, next to Eric Newman for Grand Electric, whose Sarah Bowen will exec produce.
The film also marks a reunion for Snyder who shepherded 2004’s Dawn Of The Dead which Newman produced, with Netflix head of original, Scott Stuber, then oversaw as vice-chair at Universal Pictures.
“This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan,” Snyder tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s my love of sci-fi and a giant adventure. My hope is that this also becomes a massive IP and a universe that can be built out.”
Borys Kit’s exclusive at THR provides further details on the project’s origins dating back to around 2011 as aStar Warspitch; which Snyder himself spent the last several years touching up:
It was a more mature take on the universe created by George Lucas and didn’t move beyond any meaningful conversations after the Walt Disney Company acquired LucasFilm in 2012. At one point, he and Newman even went down the path of making it a series.
But it was as a feature that he felt its true potential lay. He began reworking the idea with Johnstad and really dove in at the same time as he began making Army of the Dead, bringing in that movie’s co-scribe, Hatten. The latter, at 27, had quietly become an in-demand franchise writer, deepening the world of John Wick for Lionsgate by working on the third and upcoming fourth and fifth installments.
“I’ve spent the last two or three years building out this universe. Every corner has to be painted in. I’ve been doing designs, constantly drawing and really cultivating its fertile ground to make this world fully realized.”