How Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ Pushes for Inclusion and Diversity

The trailer for Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon is now out, but very little is known about the film. Fortunately, Netflix invited several media outlets, including those of multicultural-based, to attend a special press event with director Zack Snyder himself.

Rebel Moon tells the story of mysterious stranger Kora (Sofia Boutella), who has been living peacefully with a colony on the edge of a galaxy. The colony’s lives are threatened when armies of a tyrannical ruling force come into town wreaking havoc. Discovered to be a warrior, Kora is tasked with finding trained fighters to take a stand against the Mother World (the bad guys). She assembles a small band of warriors — outsiders, insurgents, peasants, and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. 

The cast includes a diverse cast with Algerian actress Boutella as the lead, followed by Djimon Hounsou, Charlie Hunnam, Michiel Huisman, Staz Nair, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Cleopatra Coleman, E. Duffy, Anthony Hopkins, Jena Malone, Ed Skrein, and Fra Free.

Producer Deborah Snyder says Boutella was picked among many actresses for her ability to go deep into this dark and complicated character and also pull off the fight choreography. 

“She was just amazing,” Deborah said of Boutella. “We really looked at many different women. We tested I think five different women. Not only did she have the gravitas to pull off all the acting scenes, but she was a dancer for so many years – so the choreography was very believable. She did all the fighting and makes it so believable.”

REBEL MOON: (Featured L-R) Sofia Boutella as Kora and Director/writer/producer Zack Snyder on the set of Rebel Moon. Cr. Clay Enos/Netflix © 2023

For many of the characters, Zack leaned into the actors’ cultural backgrounds, including Bae’s South Korean heritage. Without giving away too much, expect to see some traditional Korean items present in the film for Bae’s character. The same can be said for Nair, who is of Indian and Russian descent. His character will have elements that reflect his own real life background. 

“To create [these worlds], we based it around who we cast because we used a little bit of the influence and talked about that a little bit,” said producer Wesley Coller. “We allowed their culture and who they were to influence the design of the costume or language and things like that.”

Cultural aspects weren’t the only thing that the producing team wanted to emphasize on set. Deborah said she wanted the set to be more inclusive for women behind the scenes. “As a producer who is hiring people, I really want to see more [women[ behind the camera because I don’t think we talked about that as much,” said Deborah. “We did a program [where] a bunch of women came and worked on the film in technical positions. One woman had enough hours on the film to get her union card in the camera department.”

REBEL MOON: (Featured) Doona Bae as Nemesis in Rebel Moon. Cr. Clay Enos/Netflix © 2023

Deborah knows she can’t change the industry overnight, but will do her part to bring kids and young women to every production. 

“[Not only kids in] film school, but high school kids that are in social programs,” Deborah explained. “They can see that it’s not just the director or the actors or the producers that are there. There are all these amazing jobs available and they might see things that they never realized they could do.

Rebel Moon Part 1 premieres on December 22 on Netflix. 

*This article was written during the WGA and SAG/AFTRA strike. To support the strike, please donate to the Entertainment Community Fund.*