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SYFY WIRE Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder shooting for 'Rebel Moon' extended universe at Netflix starting with Star Wars-inspired movie

By Vanessa Armstrong
Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder has had a busy year. In addition to HBO Max releasing his buzzy extended cut of Justice League, the popularity of his Netflix feature, Army of the Dead, has paved the way to building out a franchise.

It turns out, however, that Snyder has another major project in the works, and this one's going to space. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker revealed that Netflix has picked up his next project, a sci-fi fantasy movie called Rebel Moon.

The idea started out as a Star Wars pitch that Snyder made to Lucasfilm back in 2012 before Disney bought the company. The project went nowhere at that time (reportedly it was too dark), but Snyder and writer Kurt Johnstead (300, Atomic Blonde) plugged away at a script. When Snyder started working on Army of the Dead, he also brought in one of his co-writer's, Shay Hatten. Snyder will direct the franchise-launching (hopefully) film, and — along with his wife and partner, Deborah Snyder — produce via their production company, Stone Quarry.

“This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan,” Snyder told THR. “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.”

And what’s the plot of this Kurosawa-Star Wars mash-up? According to THR, the story takes place on what starts out as a tranquil colony on the edge of the galaxy’s civilized space. That tranquility is threatened, however, when a tyrant named Balisarius tries to take over the colony by force. In response to Balisarius' impending attack, residents send off a young woman with a mysterious past to gather reinforcements from neighboring planets, presumably for a major battle against Balisarius’ forces.

Even though things are still in the early stages, Rebel Moon’s universe is already fleshed out. “I’ve spent the last two or three years building out this universe,” Snyder said. “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.”

Alas, we’ll have to wait a bit to see Snyder’s fully realized extended universe. Things are still in pre-production on Rebel Moon, so no news yet on when casting will get underway, much less when the sci-fi feature will drop on Netflix. In the meantime, you can check out Snyder's Army of the Dead on the streamer now, while waiting on the franchise's German-language prequel movie and anime series currently in production.