Zack Snyder is preparing for a Rebel Moon universe.
In a first look interview with Vanity Fair published Tuesday, the director shared his expanding plans for his latest project with Netflix, which is a concept Snyder has been mulling since college. The sci-fi adventure, which will debut on the streamer Dec. 22, follows a woman (Sofia Boutella) with a mysterious past who is sent out by a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy to find warriors after the society is threatened by the armies of the tyrant.
But the project will actually be two movies after the writer-director spoke with Netflix about his 72-page-script, which translated to a nearly-three-hour movie.
“[Netflix film boss Scott] Stuber was like, ‘On the service, under-two-hour movies really do better for some reason,’ even though you’ll binge-watch a series of eight episodes,” Deborah Snyder, Zack’s producing partner and wife, says. “Zack said, ‘If you ask me to make this less than two hours, I’m going to lose all the character. You won’t care about these people. It’s a character story about how people can change, and redemption and what are you willing to fight for…’ So he said, ‘What if I give you two movies?’”
As a result, the $166 million movie — which Vanity Fair reports is from the film’s estimated cost based on California tax filings — will be split into two parts, although the second film’s release date remains unclear. Zack Snyder says he was looking to have part two released “on the heels” of part one. “It won’t be long after. Netflix can do things that a traditional studio can’t do as far as how close together the movies are released,” he notes.
In addition to the two-parter, he is also gearing up to release two cuts of the film, with the director’s cut going longer. The first cut will explore the fantasy adventure in a way “that anyone can enjoy and watch,” while the other cut will be focused on adults and Snyder’s super fans. “I think for fans of mine and people who are ready to take a deeper, harder dive, that’ll be fun for them,” he says.
During the interview, details about how Snyder built his universe were also revealed. Beyond the movie’s expected effects, the director built a real life village in the Santa Clarita canyon outside of Los Angeles. That includes “a full-size abandoned starfighter decoys not far from what appears to be an idyllic Scandinavian-style village, complete with clusters of homes, shops, and barns as well as a stone bridge arching over a crystalline river” — the latter of which was built by the production — as well as actual fields of wheat in the desert.
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