Is ‘Rebel Moon’ Based on a Book?

It seems like it should be a simple yes or no answer, but the question “Is Zack Snyder’s new project, Rebel Moon, based on a book?” is weirdly complicated.

The super short answer is no. The slightly longer answer is “no, but calling it an original concept isn’t exactly honest, either.” The even longer answer than that is “It’s an amalgamation of a bunch of other people’s ideas, thinly coated in Zack Snyder-brand varnish and presumably run past a bunch of intellectual property experts to make super, duper sure that none of this is actionable.”

It’s no secret that Rebel Moon has its roots in Star WarsBefore finding a forever home on the streaming service, the two-part Netflix film, which hits theaters Nov. 15, 2023, started life as a pitch for a Snyder-style, just-for-big-boys addition to George Lucas’ galaxy a long, long way off. Unfortunately for Snyder, talks with Lucasfilm fell apart when the company was purchased, Kitt Fisto and Kaboodle Fisto, by the good folks at Disney. Disney’s higher-ups didn’t cotton to Snyder’s ideas, and a Heavy Metal, Magazine-inspired Jedi epic was left forever unrealized, leaving ample space for memorable entries to the franchise like Solo: A Star Wars Story and that show about Obi-Wan being sad.

All of that being said, after a long process of shopping the project around as a movie, TV show, and video game, Rebel Moon remained, down to its DNA, a Star Wars movie. It’s not ashamed to say it, either: This is a heavily inspired homage to the sci-fi throwbacks from the ‘70s and ‘80s. It just has more swearing and, in all likelihood, a fully exposed butt.

Tangentially, of course, Rebel Moon is based on a few books. If Rebel Moon is based on Star Wars and Star Wars is based on every book that Joseph Campbell ever wrote about, then Rebel Moon is just another of a thousand faces hanging from an enigmatic hero. Shots from Rebel Moon look treacherously similar to Snyder’s previous work, 300which takes direct page-to-screen visual inspiration from the comic book of the same name. Most importantly, Rebel Moon is, inescapably, a Zack Snyder project. Zack Snyder’s projects are, to a one, sopping with references to Excalibur, the adult-leaning 1981 King Arthur adaptation with blood and guts that Snyder has called “the perfect meeting of movies and mythology.” With studied dedication, he has aped Excalibur and, by extension, the writings of the King Arthur mythos in all of his work, and it would be genuinely bananas if it didn’t show up in his latest story. Mark my words: Carla Gugino will reprise her role from Justice League as “Computer just flat out quoting Excalibur lines for a while.” I may be getting frustrated with Zack Snyder.

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