Director Zack Snyder on Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire

by W. Andrew Powell

The world building and scale of director Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is on another level. The universe feels immense, and it’s powered by the director’s unique vision, and attention to details.

Following the Hollywood premiere of Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire, I sat down with Snyder to talk about making the film, the process, cast, and early details on the R-rated extended cut that’s coming soon.

When the creative process started, Snyder had two people in mind for the film.

“Sofia [Boutella] was there really early, I’ll be honest, on my ‘vision board,'” Synder said. “She definitely was an early one for me, visualizing the world. Also, Djimon [Hounsou], I had the idea for him pretty early for Titus because I just thought, he’s just cool and I always wanted to work with him.”

Snyder has worked all his career on building iconic locations that feel like their own unique worlds, and he explained a bit of what it took to get that look for Rebel Moon.

Zack Snyder on the set of Rebel Moon
Zack Snyder on the set of Rebel Moon

“It’s a conversation really between the designers [and] myself,” Snyder said. “This tone obsession I have is really part of it. I actually have a very disciplined relationship with my concept artists and with my designers about how to beat an idea or a look out of a situation, because it’s all very chaptered by planets.”

“So it was always; [for] each planet, what is the look? What is the culture? What is the why? That work has to be done, and it’s not a small amount of work, as you can imagine. You have to create some sort of natural history, and cultural history, all those things.”

Rebel Moon took 152 days to shoot, and even Snyder admitted that it was an ambitious project since they shot the first and second parts of the film all at once.

“[I]t’s a marathon and you can’t take your foot off the gas at all, so it was pretty amazing. The challenge for me was just managing my own energy, my own time.”

For the first time, Snyder was also given the opportunity to create a PG-13 version of the film, that premieres this week, followed by an R-rated director’s cut that will be released in early 2024.

“I’ve never had a relationship on a movie where there was a director’s cut built into the movie.”

Zack Snyder , Michiel Huisman as Gunnar and Sofia Boutella as Kora
Zack Snyder , Michiel Huisman as Gunnar and Sofia Boutella as Kora

“Netflix had been generous and smart to create this parallel universe, this R-rated universe that runs alongside the PG-13 universe, so doing the PG-13 version was much, much easier knowing I had the other [version]. So making the cuts and making it as clean as possible was much more pleasurable than it’s been for me in the past [editing films], and that’s why I really, actually enjoyed this tight version of the movie.”

Snyder was also excited for fans to experience that longer cut of the film.

“There’s just a lot of detail… [and a] wholly original opening. It’s really fun. I really am excited for fans of this version to then go back and really have this deep dive. It’s an hour longer, so it’s a full, deep dive.”

Rebel Moon‘s second part will be released in April, and Snyder is also excited to release that film in such a unique way.

“A streamer can do that, that we can’t do in the theatre. It’s really impossible.”

He added that he thought viewers, like a lot of things on streaming platforms, will want to see more. “Like, ‘Where can I go [to watch more]?’ And I think that they’re going to get that opportunity. And if this movie is a gathering the team movie, then the next movie is war.”

Watch the full interview with Zack Snyder above. Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire premieres on Netflix December 22.

The cast of Rebel Moon.
The cast of Rebel Moon.

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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