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Zack Snyder Announces Some Casting News For His Next Film, 'Rebel Moon'

By Brian Richards | Film | February 10, 2022 |

By Brian Richards | Film | February 10, 2022 |


Since the release of both Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max and Army of the Dead on Netflix last year, fans of director Zack Snyder have been wanting to know what his next project will be. Some of them speculated that it would be Horse Latitudes (formerly titled The Last Photograph), a smaller and more intimate project that Snyder has discussed in several interviews. Others wondered if and when Snyder would finally adapt Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, though he admitted that due to the current political climate, he is in no rush to adapt that novel at the moment. Last July, Snyder answered the question when he announced that his next project would be the sci-fi film Rebel Moon, and that it would be another film made for Netflix.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The story is set in motion when a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy is threatened by the armies of a tyrannical regent named Balisarius. Desperate, the colonists dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them make a stand.

“This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan,” Snyder tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Rebel Moon finds its origins in a Star Wars pitch the filmmaker developed a decade ago. It was a more mature take on the universe created by George Lucas and didn’t move beyond meaningful conversations after The Walt Disney Co. acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 … He began reworking the idea with [co-writer Kurt] Johnstad and dove in at the same time as he began making Army of the Dead, bringing in that movie’s co-scribe, [Shay] Hatten. The latter, at 27, had quietly become an in-demand franchise writer, deepening the world of John Wick for Lionsgate by working on the third and upcoming fourth and fifth installments.

“I’ve 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.”

The first casting announcement for Rebel Moon was made last November, when Deadline Hollywood broke the news that Sofia Boutella — who starred in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Atomic Blonde, and Star Trek Beyond — would be playing the lead role of the mysterious woman trying to convince other planets to help her fight back against Regent Balisarius.


Since then, there were many theories and suggestions being shared online as to who should join the Rebel Moon cast, as well as everyone wondering when the next casting decisions would be announced. Yesterday afternoon, Snyder finally decided to let the world know, via his accounts on both Twitter and Vero, which other actors would also be appearing in Rebel Moon, while also showing off some additional concept art of what the film is expected to look like.

Quick roll call of who’s who in case you’re not familiar with what other movies and television shows that everyone has been in: Charlie Hunnam starred as Jax Teller on the FX series Sons of Anarchy, almost starred as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy, and was also in the films King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword and Pacific Rim (the less said about his recent decision to star in a movie opposite Mel Gibson, the better); Djimon Hounsou was in Amistad, Beauty Shop, Constantine, and Shazam!; Bae Doona (or Doona Bae, which she’s also been credited as) was in Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, The Host, and the Netflix series Sense8; Jena Malone was in Saved!, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Bastard Out of Carolina, and previously worked with Snyder on both Sucker Punch, and in the Ultimate Edition of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice as Carrie Kelley, a.k.a. Robin S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Jenet Klyburn; Staz Nair has appeared on Supergirl, Krypton, Game of Thrones, and played Rocky in Fox’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show; E. Duffy is a newcomer who has recently started acting and has mostly appeared in short films; Charlotte Maggi is also a newcomer whose only screen credit is for the upcoming Australian television series Maverix; and Sky Yang wrote, directed, and starred in the short film Sunny, and is appearing in both the upcoming ITV series Holding and the Paramount Plus adaptation of Halo.

According to Borys Kit at The Hollywood Reporter:

Character details are about as easy to find as an honest galactic mercenary, but sources say Hounsou is playing a character named General Titus (good/bad guy status unknown), Bae is a nemesis who is proficient with a sword, while Fisher is a resistance fighter named Blood Axe.

As happy and impressed as most of the Internet was with these unique and diverse casting choices, there was one name that resulted in the most noise and the most conversation. Which was none other than Ray Fisher.

Fisher is best known for playing Victor Stone, a.k.a. Cyborg, in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and his performance was considered to be one of the best things about the film. But when it was first announced that HBO Max gave Snyder the green light to finish production on his own version of Justice League, a.k.a. The Snyder Cut, which was left unfinished after his 20-year-old daughter, Autumn, died by suicide, and Snyder chose to step away from the project to be with his family, Fisher’s name would soon appear in numerous headlines. In June of 2020, he chose to spill all of the tea about how Joss Whedon behaved in an abusive manner towards him, and other cast and crew members, on the Justice League set during reshoots which he was hired to write and direct, so that production would be completed in time for the film’s scheduled release later that same year. Fisher also made it clear that Whedon was allowed to get away with his abusive behavior thanks to producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, that DC Films president Walter Hamada attempted to interfere with the third-party investigation as to what happened during those reshoots, and that he refused to appear in any other DCEU films as Cyborg (including the upcoming film The Flash, in which he was expected to play a supporting role) while Hamada still remained in charge over at Warner Bros.

Regarding the responses to everything that Fisher said (and continued to say on Twitter, as he would regularly remind people that Hamada owes apologies to everyone who participated in the Justice League third-party investigation), there were those who gave him their full support and had his back, including usage of the hashtag #IStandWithRayFisher. And there were those who didn’t believe what he was saying. People who felt that he didn’t have enough evidence, and was only upset because Whedon cut down his screen time in the theatrical version of Justice League. And that he was nothing more than a spoiled crybaby who was ruining his career and burning too many bridges by constantly talking sh-t about the people who run Warner Bros., and bringing up what happened during the Justice League reshoots instead of just moving on with what was left of his career.

Though Fisher has said more than once that he would be perfectly fine if his acting career in Hollywood ends as a result of him speaking out and not remaining silent, it didn’t stop his supporters from wishing and hoping and tweeting and praying that Snyder would have Fisher’s back and cast him in Rebel Moon. Not just as a sign of professional loyalty to someone who literally rocked an “I <3 ZS” T-shirt at San Diego Comic-Con when he was supposed to be singing Joss Whedon’s praises for bringing Justice League to the finish line, but to also shut down the naysayers who insisted that he should and would never get another acting job in Hollywood again (despite having appeared in Season 3 of True Detective opposite Mahershala Ali, and most recently in the ABC miniseries Women of the Movement), and that it was his own damn fault.

Needless to say, Ray Fisher couldn’t hide his enthusiasm once the news finally broke.

Jena Malone, via her Instagram page, couldn’t hide her enthusiasm, either.

There were lots and lots of tweets that expressed excitement at all of this casting news, especially when it came to Snyder and Fisher reuniting once more.

(That last tweet came from Ray Porter, who played Darkseid in Zack Snyder’s Justice League)

If anyone in DCEU Twitter is still holding out hope that Zack Snyder will return to Warner Bros. once the Warner Bros./Discovery merger is complete, and that he’ll resume working in the DCEU so that the Snyderverse will be restored, well…there are some rumored Rebel Moon character descriptions going around that describe one of the characters in the film as being named Harmada, a “lethal and ageless half-woman half-spider. She preys on vulnerable children as a twisted vengeance for the loss of her own. This role will include some prosthetics and fight training.” If this is actually true, and Snyder decided to have a villainous character in his next film whose name sounds awfully similar to that of the president of DC Films, it’s safe to say that he’s not expecting to be back in the good graces of Warner Bros. any time soon, nor does he really care.

More casting news is expected before Rebel Moon, which was recently revealed to be a two-part film, begins production this April.