Zack Snyder is already planning to release a “Snyder Cut” of his new sci-fi epic Rebel Moon, an R-Rated version landing the same day as the PG-13, December 22nd.

Releasing both versions simultaneously is a smart move for Snyder and Netflix, as it doubles the minutes-watched numbers and reaches a wider demographic, including young adult viewers. The PG-13 rating also adds intrigue to buzz surrounding the R-rated cut. Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition and Snyder’s Justice League both did well, setting precedent.

Rebel Moon is essentially Seven Samurai in a galaxy far, far away, with warriors from many backgrounds banding together to protect a small, plucky community from attacking space bandits. Officially: “Rated PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, sexual assault, bloody images, language, sexual material, and partial nudity.” That’s the PG version so what else is in the R version? Snyder himself told Vanity Fair that the first version to come out will be a movie “that anyone can enjoy and watch.”

The Star Wars influenced sci-fi epic included expanding its universe via a tabletop RPG, with the director “expressly request[ing] that there be a Rebel Moon based TTRPG” if the project was signed by Netflix, according to Evil Genius Games. Evil Genius Games filed a lawsuit claiming that the game studio, which has previously adapted films including Kong: Skull Island, Total Recall and Pacific Rim for its Dungeons & Dragons 5E-compatible RPG Everyday Heroes, began working with Netflix on a Rebel Moon TRPG earlier this year.

This could get R rated

Evil Genius claims that it “supplied all the missing pieces and created a cohesive backstory for the entire Rebel Moon franchise” in the form of a “World Bible”. The 228-page document was originally created to be an in-house reference for the tabletop RPG, but apparently impressed Snyder and Netflix execs to the point that Snyder “indicated” that “significant elements” of the bible would be worked into the director’s multi-film ‘Snyderverse’, as well as other Rebel Moon works such as graphic novels, animated series and a novel. The novelization of the film written by V. Castro (The Queen of the Cicadas) is still scheduled to be published by Titan Books on December 26, 2023.

Snyder said on the Nerd Queens podcast in March: “The one thing that I’m having a really good time with – and I don’t really know if I’m supposed to talk about it – is this RPG that we’re doing that is just literally insane, and so immersive and so intense and so huge”.

Evil Genius was at the tabletop trade show GAMA in April, where artwork from the Rebel Moon RPG was shown to retailers and distributors in – according to Evil Genius – efforts to create some “industry buzz” about the upcoming RPG and set it up for success upon release.

Netflix claimed that the artwork was confidential and unapproved, therefore breaching the confidentiality agreement between the streaming platform and Evil Genius. EvilGenius said that 2 Netflix employees were present at GAMA and presented the artwork. Nevertheless, Netflix halted work on the tabletop RPG as a result, and in June, according to the game company, attempted to “hijack” the World Bible created for the RPG by claiming it “belongs solely and exclusively to Netflix”.

“Based on this letter, it became clear that Netflix was simply using the alleged breach and termination to hijack Plaintiff’s intellectual property and prevent Plaintiff from releasing the game,” the lawsuit states. Evil Genius Games is suing for breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and other claims. Evil Genius is a big company and Netflix is gigantic, so this could drag on for years, while the film and merchandise sell.

The film has a large cast, starring Sofia Boutella as Kora, Djimon Hounsou as General Titus, Ed Skrein as Balisarius, and Ray Fisher as Blood Axe.

Rebel Moon is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2023, by Netflix, with a limited theatrical release planned. A sequel, Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver, is set for release on April 19, 2024.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.