Everything we know about 'Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire'

Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire
Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire (Image credit: Netflix)

Rebel Moon is finally almost here.

Dropping down your chimney with a tumbling force of pre-Christmas cheer, the first half of director Zack Snyder's ("Watchmen," "Man of Steel," "Justice League") new space opera project for Netflix arrives on the streaming giant's platform on Dec. 22, 2023 and we've got all the sweet details to get you pumped for the big premiere.

"Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire" is the highly-anticipated saga that transports fans to a completely new sci-fi universe where a young freedom fighter named Kora must defend her adopted planetoid from hostile intruders alongside a hand-picked band of mercenaries and warriors out for justice.

Promotional poster for "Rebel Moon." (Image credit: Netflix)

Snyder is a consummate filmmaker who speaks the language as articulately as anyone in the industry, so there's no doubt we're in for one heckuva wild ride. From the looks of the first dynamic teaser and final release trailer, the film reveals its roots as an old abandoned "Star Wars" screenplay retooled with a definite "Seven Samurai"-style premise and plenty of creative breathing room to expand into a future universe of tie-in books, comic books, animation, and even video games.

The second half of "Rebel Moon," titled "The Scargiver," will arrive on April 19, 2024.

Let's unpack all we know to get you up to lightspeed before "Rebel Moon" rises!

"Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child Of Fire" release date

Promotional art for "Rebel Moon" (Image credit: Netflix)

The worldwide Netflix streaming debut of Snyder's $166 million sci-fi spectacle has remained at its original Christmastime slot scheduled for Dec. 22, 2023. 

But for eager fans willing to cash in some frequent flier miles, "A Child of Fire" will also have an extremely limited one-week theatrical run from Dec. 15-21 prior to it airing on Netflix. If you happen to reside in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, or London, you can attend an exclusive 70mm screening at these four venues: 

Egyptian Theatre (Los Angeles)

Paris Theater (New York City)

TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto)

Prince Charles Cinema (London)

What is the plot of "Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child Of Fire"

A scene from "Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire" (Image credit: Netflix)

The PG-13 rated feature has an official runtime of two hours and fifteen minutes and centers around a motley crew of resistance fighters on the remote moon of Veldt led by an enigmatic woman whose past association with the tyrannical empire could jeopardize her world's freedom and possibly her own life. 

Per Netflix, here's the detailed synopsis:

"After crash landing on a moon in the furthest reaches of the universe, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a stranger with a mysterious past, begins a new life among a peaceful settlement of farmers. But she soon becomes their only hope for survival when the tyrannical Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee) and his cruel emissary, Admiral Noble (Ed Skrein), discover the farmers have unwittingly sold their crops to the Bloodaxes (Cleopatra Coleman and Ray Fisher) — leaders of a fierce group of insurgents hunted by the Motherworld. 

"Tasked with finding fighters who would risk their lives to defend the people of Veldt, Kora and Gunnar (Michiel Huisman), a tenderhearted farmer naive in the realities of war, journey to different worlds in search of the Bloodaxes, and assemble a small band of warriors who share a common need for redemption along the way: Kai (Charlie Hunnam), a pilot and gun for hire; General Titus (Djimon Hounsou), a legendary commander; Nemesis (Doona Bae), a master swordswoman; Tarak (Staz Nair), a captive with a regal past; and Milius (E. Duffy), a resistance fighter. 

"Back on Veldt, Jimmy (Anthony Hopkins), an ancient mechanized protector hiding in the wings, awakens with a new purpose. But the newly formed revolutionaries must learn to trust each other and fight as one before the armies of the Motherworld come to destroy them all."

Sure, there are certain similarities to "Star Wars" and that's because "Rebel Moon" was first conceived as Zack Snyder's pitch to Lucasfilm in the wake of "Revenge of the Sith" and prior to the iconic property being gobbled up by Disney in 2012. Its spinoff plot lies squarely in the realm of adult space opera akin to "Star Wars" and its galaxy far, far away and was inspired by director Akira Kurosawa's 1954 masterpiece "Seven Samurai," which remains one of Snyder's favorite films.

"It was me saying, 'Give me the keys and let me take it for a spin,'" Snyder told the Happy Sad Confused podcast in 2021. "We talked about it but it never [happened]. I've been working on it away from the 'Star Wars' universe, on my own, as a sci-fi thing. It's still a sci-fi thing. It's the same story."

In typical Snyder style, a one-hour longer, R-rated Director's Cut will also be made available for insatiable fans down the road as announced in an EW interview:

"I'm super proud of the PG-13 version, the broader audience version, because I would say it really satisfies an awesome, timeless, mythological scope, [but] what we’ve done with the other version is fun and subversive because an R-rated sci-fi movie at this scale shouldn't exist."

"Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child Of Fire" trailers

A scene from "Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire" (Image credit: Photo by Clay Enos/Netflix)

Netflix held back promos to generate anticipation for their two-part sci-fi epic but finally gifted us with a nearly four-minute first trailer back on Aug. 22 that garnered over 12 million views!

After two more teasers edited together with similar footage, the final release trailer dropped on Nov. 12, revealing additional imagery of Snyder's imaginative fight choreography, exotic landscapes, robots, creatures, characters, lasers flaring, and intense outer space combat. This promo topped the first teaser with 14 million hits.

"Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child Of Fire" cast

Zack Snyder with the cast of "Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire" (Image credit: Photo by Clay Enos/Netflix)

Snyder loves big ensemble casts and "Rebel Moon" is no exception, with lead performances by Sofia Boutella ("Star Trek Beyond"), Ed Skrein ("Deadpool"), Djimon Hounsou ("Guardians of the Galaxy"), Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy"), Fra Fee ("Hawkeye"), Michiel Huisman ("The Haunting of Hill House"), and the distinguished actor Sir Anthony Hopkins ("Thor") voicing a former battle robot named Jimmy.  

Rounding out the stellar cast are Ray Fisher ("Justice League"), Bae Doona ("Sense8"), Staz Nair ("Supergirl"), Jena Malone ("The Hunger Games"), Corey Stoll ("Ant-Man"), Cary Elwes ("Stranger Things"), Stuart Martin ("Babylon"), Alfonso Herrera ("Ozark"), and Cleopatra Coleman ("In the Shadow of the Moon").

"Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child Of Fire" director, writers and crew

Zack Snyder with the cast of "Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire" (Image credit: Netflix)

There's a wealth of talent here on this ambitious project both in front of and behind the camera. Zack Snyder is at the helm as director working off a screenplay by Snyder, his "300" co-writer Kurt Johnstad, and "Army of the Dead" scribe Shay Hatten, and based on an original story crafted by Snyder.

Composer Tom Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL, the visionary musician who joined Snyder on "Man of Steel," "Batman v Superman," and "Zack Snyder's Justice League," returns to provide the riveting score for this epic endeavor.

"Rebel Moon" is produced by Snyder and his wife Deborah Snyder alongside Wesley Coller and their production shingle, The Stone Quarry. Eric Newman and Sarah Bowen's Grand Electric are attached as executive producers with Bergen Swanson, Shay Hatten, and Kurt Johnstad. 

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.