Zack Snyder interview: ‘I wanted to create my own world and set my own rules’ | Hollywood - Hindustan Times
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Zack Snyder interview on going beyond Superman, Justice League: ‘I wanted to create my own world and set my own rules’

ByDevansh Sharma
Dec 18, 2023 06:18 AM IST

In an exclusive interview, Zack Snyder talks about his new original franchise Rebel Moon for Netflix, and not being limited by the superhero genre.

Zack Snyder no longer has to fight for a director's cut. Two years ago, Zack Snyder's Justice League released post a five-year movement by his fans who demanded the director's cut of his 2017 superhero ensemble movie. Now, he's in a space where he's no longer battling for his unadulterated voice. He's moved on from Warner Bros and the DC Extended Universe to make original movies for Netflix, from the 2021 post-apocalyptic zombie film Army of the Dead to the upcoming epic space opera film, Rebel Moon.

Zack Snyder is coming up with a two-part franchise, Rebel Moon, on Netflix
Zack Snyder is coming up with a two-part franchise, Rebel Moon, on Netflix

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Setting his own rules

“To be honest, I love working with Batman and Superman, but they're very particular. There are a lot of limitations on what you can and cannot do. You can't do your own thing,” said Zack in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times. He added that he's faced the challenges of creative liberty not only on the DCEU films, but even on other comic book adaptations he's attempted.

“If you're adapting some famous work, sometimes it's better to stay on task. And I'm happy to do that, whether it's Watchmen (2009) or 300 (2007). But if you're doing something original, you really have the opportunity to take characters on journeys that might be crazier than what anyone expected. In that way, it's liberating for me to get to create the world and set the rules,” says Zack.

Run-in with studios

He may not be dealing with the Warner Bros of the world, but one can't assume that working with a streamer like Netflix doesn't come with its own challenges. But Zack has been able to work his way around that. For instance, when Netflix suggested cutting down the movie's runtime to 2 hours, Zack suggested that he come up with a two-part franchise instead, in order to encompass the whole new world of Rebel Moon.

Zack is also coming out with a PG-13 version and an R-rated version of the movie. Netflix had a minor gripe with the opening credits of Army of the Dead, featuring a zombie penis. Taking into cognisance that it was a rather small battle to lose, Zack chopped the shot off. “My relationship with Netflix has been really amazing. We trust each other so they've been incredibly supportive. I really appreciate that. I don't know if it's studios vs streamers, but in this case, it's been mutually beneficial and fun,” Zack admits.

A whole new world

Rebel Moon is Zack's baby. It's not adapted from any comic book, and in fact, is coming out with a graphic novel, a video game, a podcast, and an animated short and series. In short, it's all set to give Snyderverse a run for its money. Zack admits he has plans to build into a mega franchise with a trilogy of sequels. Rebel Moon: Part Two – The Scargiver is already slated to release on Netflix on April 19 next year.

However, Zack mentions that Rebel Moon is heavily inspired by the fantasy movies he grew up on. In fact, it started off as a pitch for a Star Wars movie, before it got a life of its own. “When you distil it down, those were really the movies that influenced me between 1977 and 1987, when I was basically 11 years old until I was a sophomore in college. These were the movies that changed me, in fact changed all of us at that time. They shaped your aesthetic, what you like and don't like. There were some iconic movies that just hit me in that window,” says Zack.

The movies he lists include Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Heavy Metal (1981), Blade Runner (1982), Aliens (1986), Excalibur (1981), and Blue Velvet (1986). “Blue Velvet is a kind of the end of innocence for us. That's why Rebel Moon is a love letter to those fantasies, sci-fi blockbusters that they were making without abandon. Those were new, original things. You didn't know they'd be coming. Aliens was just that. Where you just go and get your mind blown,” says Zack, hoping Rebel Moon does for this generation what Star Wars did for his back then.

Rebel Moon: Part One: A Child of Fire will premiere on Netflix on December 21.

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