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'F*** Star Wars' - Rebel Moon Producers Are Glad Zack Snyder's Jedi Film Got Axed

When it comes to adapting IP, Zack Snyder has always been on Hollywood's must-call list. The American director managed to make a name for himself thanks to his impressive talent for frequently recontextualizing or repackaging prominent franchises. The director made his directorial debut with "Dawn of the Dead," a riff on George A. Romero's iconic zombie flick of the same name, and the rest, of course, is history. 

Later, Snyder adapted "Watchmen" and gave birth to several films in the DC Extended Universe, shaping the likes of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck), and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in his own image. And, if things had gone the way Disney had expected, Snyder would have been the force behind "Star Wars" and its mid-2010s "reboot." While core plot details on Snyder's original "Star Wars" pitch are slim, the director told Empire that it was, essentially, "'Seven Samurai' in space," and featured no established characters from the storied space opera.

Disney eventually moved away from Snyder's vision for the franchise, but the idea kept nagging a Snyder. Over a decade later, Snyder's pitch has evolved into "Rebel Moon," a brand-new franchise set to debut on Netflix. During a preview event for the film's mind-boggling trailer, /Film was on hand to hear producer Eric Newman praise Snyder's decision to move forward with the concept without the "Star Wars" franchise's backing. Newman recalled how Snyder's "Seven Jedi" project initially evolved from a film into a television show. "Then, a few years later, he calls me and goes, 'You know, I think it could be a television show,'" Newman said. "I'm like, 'Yes, let's do this! F*** 'Star Wars!' Let's do this as a TV show,'" the producer continued. 

Rebel Moon takes influences from more than Star Wars

"Rebel Moon," of course, isn't a TV show, but it is taking cues from the medium. Netflix has dubbed "Rebel Moon" as an "epic science-fantasy event," and rightfully so. The space opera consists of two separate films, both set to be released months apart. "Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire," is set to debut in late December 2023, while "Part Two: The Scargiver" is heading to Netflix in mid-April 2024.

And while the film isn't set in the "Star Wars" universe, fans who have seen the trailer can no doubt see the influence George Lucas' franchise has had on "Rebel Moon." But with "Rebel Moon" existing outside of the Lucasfilm ecosystem, producer Eric Newman is pleased that Snyder can borrow from other properties. "And one of the movies that we talked a lot about way back when, from the beginning, I think we probably bonded over it, was 'Heavy Metal,' which I know most of you know," Newman said at the "Rebel Moon" event. As impactful as the animated "Heavy Metal" was on "Rebel Moon," it's clear that Snyder is taking cues from a vast array of projects. While shades of "Warhammer 40K" are persistent in "Rebel Moon," Snyder's latest is obsessed with the works of famed Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. 

During his initial "Star Wars" pitch, Snyder dubbed his project "Seven Jedi," a riff on Kurosawa's iconic "Seven Samurai," which was later adapted for American audiences as "The Magnificent Seven." And during a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, Snyder gushed over Kurosawa's impact on his upcoming sci-fi epic. "This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a 'Star War's fan," Snyder told the outlet, discussing his hopes that "Rebel Moon" could become its own "massive IP." 

Deborah Snyder is glad the Star Wars pitch fell through

If all goes well, Zack Snyder's "Rebel Moon" could very well become a behemoth franchise, not unlike "Star Wars." Still, one would assume that it must sting for Snyder to not have his own "Star Wars" flick, right? Not for Deborah Snyder, the director's wife and producing partner. At the same trailer event, Deborah Snyder opened up about how she's grateful that her husband's pitch for a galaxy far, far away didn't manifest. "Once, it was a 'Star Wars' film, and I never wanted it to be," the producer candidly revealed. "I remember, I said to Zack, 'I just feel like your hands are going to be tied so much in what that IP is,' even though it kind of lived outside of it. So I was kind of happy when that fell apart, because I always felt like it was better," she added.

Now that Snyder's film isn't part of the "Star Wars" universe, the director is far less restricted. In fact, he seems to be doing whatever he wants — which definitely must be exciting to his hardcore fan base. In addition to pulling from multiple sources for his space opera, Snyder is doubling down on his love for director's cuts. The upcoming film(s) will boast two cuts: a PG-13 version and an extended, R-rated cut. 

For Deborah and Zack Snyder, this is an exciting proposition that allows them to tell the story they want in two unique ways, especially when one considers that an R-rated "Star Wars" project is a difficult pitch. "I think both are really exciting and they give us a chance to have my kids see one of them, which they're very excited about, and also gives the hardcore fans a place to go," Deborah Snyder said at the event.