Are Rebel Moon and Army of the Dead Now the One True Snyderverse?

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“Snyderverse.” Whether you know the word or not, odds are you’ve heard it. And, for several years, it very clearly referred to the series of DC films director Zack Snyder directed and produced at Warner Bros. The world where Henry Cavill is Superman, Ben Affleck is Batman, and a legion of fans convinced a studio to let the filmmaker revisit and release a whole new cut of his movie.

Tales of the Snyderverse will echo from here to eternity. It’s been quite the ride. However, in the past few years, Snyder has been making new films with his own characters. And while the first few of those, Army of the Dead and its prequel Army of Thieves, felt grounded by comparison, his latest film, Rebel Moon, does not. It explores a huge universe, one fully created and overseen by Snyder himself. So, since the DC characters were not his, but the ones of Rebel Moon and Army are, we asked Snyder, is this world now, the actual, one true Snyderverse?

“Wow, that’s a cool question. It could be. Absolutely. I mean, if there is such a thing,” Snyder told io9 over video chat. He seemed to be figuring out the answer in his mind as he was speaking because he then added this: “I don’t really own the copyright on that Snyderverse concept. The fans do. So I would be careful to steal it. But yeah it’s an interesting thing to talk about but I think that in the end, I reserve that name for, you know, all things DC-related.”

So maybe the world of Army of the Dead and Rebel Moon isn’t The Snyderverse, but it’s undeniably A Snyderverse. Because when asked about the question of linking the world of his zombie bank heist film and his space opera, Snyder had a very specific answer. “It possibly [has a link],” he said. “It’s more absurd. There’s a dimensional rift at Area 51 that can get you to the Rebel Moon universe, but it’s not a straight [line].”

Snyder with actor Charlie Hunnam.
Image: Netflix

Speaking with Snyder it’s clear he himself doesn’t think in straight lines either. When asked why Rebel Moon had to be split into two movies, instead of cut back into one, he explained that simply didn’t interest him. “When I originally wrote it, I sort of slightly irresponsibly wrote a 200-page script, and so once I had done that, I was kind of stuck and I didn’t want to take anything out,” Snyder said. “And so I was like, the only way I can go forward is to break it into two movies. And, you know, Netflix was really incredibly cool about the notion that we would have two movies.”

In fact, Rebel Moon will be at least four movies. “We have these two and then the two director’s cuts, which are an hour longer each,” Snyder said. “So you do get a lot deeper dive on the universe.”

Snyder thinks in universes, and that’s a big reason why he’s gained such a passionate legion of fans. However, while he loves those fans, he doesn’t think that their love of his work has changed the way he does things. “I don’t think I approach the movies any differently than I did on Dawn of the Dead, frankly,” Snyder said, referring to his directorial debut. “It’s just I kind of have one speed, one gear, and I just love doing the job. I love the sort of myth that a story has innately built into it. And I just love exploring it. That’s what turns me on. And I do it as much as I can.”

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire is now playing in select theaters. It debuts on Netflix December 22 (7 p.m. PT December 21, to be exact).


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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