Netflix concluded its Geeked Week showcase yesterday with the release of the full trailer for director Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire. It’s the first of two parts (with plans for a third film to make it a trilogy), and Snyder and the streaming giant hope the films will launch a new space opera franchise. There are already plans for a novelization of the film, a four-issue prequel comic, a narrative podcast, an animated series, and a four-player game for the Netflix gaming platform.
As we reported previously, years ago, director Zack Snyder had an idea for an epic Star Wars movie that he pitched to Lucasfilm. That project never panned out for a variety of reasons. But the idea continued to germinate until Netflix got on board. Apart from Star Wars, Snyder has said his influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa, especially Seven Samurai, and The Dirty Dozen. He has set his epic saga in a universe controlled by the ruthless and corrupt government of the Mother World (the Imperium) with an army led by one Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee). The rebel moon of the title is called Veldt.
Per the official premise:
When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors—outsiders, insurgents, peasants, and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.
Kora knows something about the oppressive nature of the Imperium since she used to be an Imperium leader and now seeks redemption from her past. The band of allies that Kora assembles includes a former Imperium general named Titus (Djimon Hounsou); her farmer friend Gunnar (Michiel Huisman); Tarak (Staz Nair), a blacksmith who can bond with animals to rally them to a fight; a cyborg sword master named Nemesis (Doona Bae); a warrior named Darrian Bloodaxe (Ray Fisher) and his sister Devra (Cleopatra Coleman); a spider warrior named Harmada (Jena Malone); and Jimmy, the last of a race of mechanical knights from a fallen kingdom, voiced by Anthony Hopkins. Ingvar Sigurdsson plays Kora’s friend Hagen, and Ed Skrein plays Admiral Atticus Noble, right hand to the tyrannical Regent. Cary Elwes and Ray Porter have also been cast in as-yet-unnamed roles.
Snyder unveiled the first teaser in August at Gamescom in Germany, filling in some crucial backstory concerning a fallen king and a young princess named Issa, known as the Redeemer in the myths, as well as introducing us to various fellow rebels. And of course there were also some very Snyder-esque battle scenes.
This latest trailer offers a good portion of new footage, but it’s largely more of the same. “When I found you in the wreckage of that ship, I considered leaving you,” Hagen tells Kora as the trailer opens. “I was afraid you could bring trouble to us.” Trouble does indeed come to the small village in the form of Imperium forces, even though, as Gunnar insists, “We’re just farmers, we’re not a threat.” Noble clearly thinks a show of brutal force is necessary to squelch any possible thoughts of rebellion. That decision backfires, with Kora on hand to channel her friends’ shock and fear into anger and a willingness to fight back.
Kora takes out a slew of bad guys single-handedly and insists, “We’re gonna have to fight.” Well, sure, now they do. But first, Kora will need to recruit other warriors to stand with them if they have any chance of defeating the forces of the Motherworld. She offers her recruits a chance at redemption—and for those who think they’re beyond redemption, at least a chance for revenge. She’s also being pursued by the Imperium as the most wanted fugitive in the known universe—one that could bring about “a new age for the universe” if her rebel forces succeed.
Rebel Moon: A Child of Fire will have a limited theatrical run starting on December 15, 2023, and will premiere on Netflix on December 22, 2023. The film is rated PG-13, but there will also be an R-rated extended cut. The second part, Rebel Moon: The Scargiver, will drop on the streaming platform on April 19, 2024.
Listing image by Netflix