On Wednesday, Netflix unveiled its feature film slate for 2023. According to the slate, the streaming platform will release 49 feature films over the year, nine of which originally had a 2022 release date. The company released 70 and 86 films in 2021 and 2022 respectively, which has led to speculation that its difficulties over the past year, including a significant subscriber loss, are behind its lesser lineup.
ut, despite the difficulties, Netflix is soldiering on, with its biggest film of the year being Zack Snyder's Star Wars-esque film, Rebel Moon.
After starting filming last year, Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon will be the biggest draw of the company’s slate, which includes Murder Mystery 2, Extraction 2, Heart of Stone, A Family Affair, The Mother, They Cloned Tyrone, The Killer, Pain Hustlers, Your Place or Mine, and Luther: The Fallen Sun.
Snyder first announced Rebel Moon in a 2021 interview. He revealed he had created the epic space opera film for the Star Wars franchise, before Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. According to Snyder, the Japanese auteur, Akiro Kurosawa, as one of his inspirations. In his words, "This is me growing up as an Akira Kurosawa fan, a Star Wars fan. It’s my love of sci-fi and a giant adventure." The Man of Steel director then expressed his hope that the film will become "a massive IP and a universe that can be built out."
Rebel Moon is an epic space opera film loosely based on Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. The story occurs in a peaceful colony, on the outskirts of the galaxy, that's being threatened by the tyrannical empire led by the regent Balisarius. To free itself from this regent, the colony members send Kora, a young woman with a mysterious past, on a journey to neighboring planets to find warriors who will aid their revolution.
Rebel Moon features an ensemble cast that includes Sofia Boutella and Ed Skrein as Kora and Balisarius respectively. The other members of the cast are Charlie Hunnam, Ray Fisher, Djimon Hounsou, Cleopatra Coleman, Corey Stoll, Jena Malone, Doona Bae, and Anthony Hopkins.
In addition to wearing the director’s hat, Snyder will also produce the film alongside Deborah Snyder, Wesley Coller, and Eric Newman. He also penned the screenplay with Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad.
Rebel Moon is Snyder’s second film after signing with Netflix. The first one was the 2021 zombie heist film Army of the Dead. While it's not a sequel, Snyder considers Army of the Dead to be the spiritual successor to his 2004 debut film Dawn of the Dead.
In typical Netflix style, Army of the Dead had a seven-day theatrical release in select theaters upon its debut. It grossed $1 million and the streamer launched it on the Netflix platform shortly thereafter. Army of the Dead had mixed ratings from critics but it was a hit among viewers, pulling in 186.54 million hours in its first 28 days. Netflix has since expanded the Army of the Dead franchise, starting with a prequel while a sequel and an anime-style series are both on their way.
It'll be interesting to see how Zack Snyder will balance all of his upcoming projects with Netflix. But, we'll get a chance to see his second outing with the platform with Rebel Moon on December 22.