Like the previous Zack Snyder-directed Netflix epic, “Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire” will get a one-week pre-streaming theatrical engagement prior to its at-home premiere.
However, while “Army of the Dead” got a 600-theater release in May 2021, this latest sci-fi actioner will play exclusively in a few select 70mm auditoriums. Those wanting to see the Sofia Boutella-starring original in theaters can do so from Dec. 15 through Dec. 21 in Los Angeles (the Netflix-owned Egyptian Theatre), New York City (the Netflix-owned Paris Theater), Toronto (TIFF Bell Lightbox) and London (Prince Charles Cinema). It will drop Dec. 22 on Netflix.
The film, which was originally pitched, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (early 2013) as a Snyder-directed “Star Wars Story” that was essentially “The Seven Samurai with lightsabers,” stars Boutella as a fierce young woman tasked with finding warriors to fend off despotic invaders terrorizing her peaceful colony. The film also features Ek Skrein, Charlie Hunnam, Anthony Hopkins, Cleopatra Coleman, Cary Elwes and Ray Fisher.
That this film is getting a far smaller theatrical run than its relative predecessor is likely less about its quality (“Army of the Dead” played very well on a large Cinemark screen) and more about Netflix not even pretending to care all that much about theatrical engagement even for its would-be event films.
The filmmaker behind “300,” “Watchmen,” “Sucker Punch” and “Man of Steel” initially planned on a single film before he and Netflix agreed to turn the opus into two features. The second chapter will arrive sometime next year.
Meanwhile, Snyder is working on separate cuts of both installments, one PG-13 all-quadrant version and one with enough violence and adult content for an R-rating. He claimed at this year’s Tudum event that the director’s cuts of “Rebel Moon” parts one and two will contain nearly an hour of additional footage.
Do recall that the longer, director’s cut versions of both “Batman v Superman” and “Justice League” nabbed R-ratings for (comparatively) harsher violence. Heck, alongside longer versions of “Sucker Punch” and “Watchmen,” Snyder is almost as dedicated to alternate long-form versions of his films as Ridley Scott.
Tickets for the limited run will go on sale Nov. 15.