Zack Snyder is heading back to Netflix for his next project, an epic sci-fi fantasy film titled Rebel Moon that the Justice League filmmaker will co-write, produce and direct.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, saying that Rebel Moon was inspired by Snyder‘s love of Star Wars and the films of Akira Kurosawa. The story concerns a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy that is threatened by the armies of a tyrant named Belisarius. Desperate to survive, the colony dispatches a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand.
Snyder is co-writing the script with past collaborators Kurt Johnstad (300) and Shay Hatten (Army of the Dead), though the latter will not receive story credit, as he was recruited to join the project long after its inception. Rebel Moon actually originated as a Star Wars pitch, though nothing came of it, and though Snyder and producer Eric Newman (Dawn of the Dead) later developed the project as a series, they ultimately realized that the story worked better as a feature.
Snyder and his wife, Deborah Snyder, will produce via their Stone Quarry banner along with Wesley Coller, while Newman will produce under his new company Grand Electric, whose Sarah Bowen will serve as an executive producer. Rebel Moon is slated to start production early next year, and THR reports it will be Snyder‘s next movie.
“This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan. 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,” Snyder told THR. The director added that he has “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.”
Army of the Dead premiered on Netflix in May and was allegedly viewed by 72 million people in its first four weeks of release, according to the streamer, which is also developing a German-language prequel and an anime series around the zombie IP. With the Streaming Wars well underway, Netflix has been forced to take big swings on the feature side in the hopes of generating content that will keep subscribers glued to the service and reduce churn.
While Snyder is coming off of his highly-touted cut of Justice League, Johnstad last wrote the Charlize Theron action movie Atomic Blonde, while Hatten is behind Netflix‘s upcoming vampire thriller Day Shift starring Jamie Foxx. While I certainly don’t think the world lacks for big sci-fi movies in the vein of Star Wars, I also understand why Netflix is chasing that particular audience — especially with the future of Star Wars on the big screen still very much up in the air as Lucasfilm focuses on new Disney+ shows set in a galaxy far, far away.