While the DCEU properly ended with the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Zack Snyder has already moved on to another cosmic adventure with Netflix. Sadly, the reception seems to be rockier than many had hoped.
Currently, Part One sits at a 23% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Cast, Characters, & Actors of Rebel Moon
Sofia Boutella - Kora
Audiences meet Sofia Boutella’s Kora as a farmer, but her past is far more complicated. Her shady history starts to get uncovered as she goes on a quest to save her farming community from the Motherworld.
Talking in a press release, the actress admitted that there are some aspects of the character that she “[doesn’t] think [she] can ever relate to” but plenty that she “absolutely understand[s]:”
“There are some aspects about Kora I don’t think I can ever relate to, but others I absolutely understand — like leaving your birth land, living in another world, and then having to start fresh and feeling like you don’t belong completely. That’s her journey as well as mine. I was born in Algeria, and I moved to France when I was 10, and then I moved again to L.A... I don’t feel like I completely belong to any geographical space, per se, but at the same time, it’s easy for me to adapt. I wasn’t a soldier, but I grew up during a civil war in Algeria, and we left because our lives were in danger. So, when it comes to the fear Kora feels and the idea of defending a place that feels like home, I know where that emotion comes from.”
Boutella will also be in the upcoming film Argylle and played roles in Star Trek: Beyond, Atomic Blonde, and Climax.
Ed Skrein - Atticus Noble
Atticus Noble, played by Ed Skrein, is an admiral of the Motherworld whose hunt for the Bloodaxes leads him to Kora’s rural farming community. After learning that someone there helped insurgents, he threatens the entire town with destruction.
Skein described the offer to play Atticus as “a mouth-watering proposition:”
“As soon as I read the script and came across Noble, I just thought, what an opportunity. What a character, what an arc. To play the antagonist is often to be underserved from a narrative point of view. The focus is usually on the protagonist. It’s why we see so many 2D villains and why they can be quite basic. This is not that. This is the character of the piece for me. It was a mouth-watering proposition. It takes a lot for me to leave my family and my community in London for such a long, extended period of time. Atticus Noble is the character of a career to step into.”
The actor also played the villains in projects such as Deadpool and Alita: Battle Angel.
Michael Huisman - Gunnar
Michael Huisman’s Gunnar comes from the same farming community as Kora and is charged alongside her to search the galaxy for fighters to help defend their home from the Motherworld.
Huisman described his character in a press release as “not particularly brave” and “a bit naive:”
“Gunnar is a humble farmer… He’s not particularly brave. He’s even a bit naive, but one of the reasons why he was so fun for me to play is that he slowly starts to change over the course of our story. He brings a groundedness to the rebels and starts to find his strength and eventually even becomes a hero.”
Some of Huisman’s previous projects include Echo 3, The Flight Attendant, and The Haunting of Hill House.
Charlie Hunnam - Kai
Kai is one of the first fighters Kora and Gunnar run into. From there, Charlie Hunnam’s character helps the duo with their recruitment.
Hunnam shared in a press release how “the relationships that developed between the other characters and Kai felt deep and significant:”
“I think part of Kai’s initial motivation is that he’s attracted to Kora both physically and in spirit, but it’s complex, and it evolves. It would be easy and would’ve made my job much simpler if his plans were straightforward from the beginning. But I don’t think it was that simple. I love all of his nuances and areas of sophistication. The relationships that developed between the other characters and Kai felt deep and significant.”
Hunnam can also be seen in Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, and Shantaram.
Doona Bae - Nemesis
Nemesis is an extremely talented swordswoman who sports a pair of mechanized prosthetic arms that can superheat her swords—making them lightsabers.
Doona Bae described her character as “a quiet and severe warrior” and “a woman of few words:”
“Nemesis is a quiet and severe warrior. She’s a woman of few words, and you can’t really read her mind from outside. But she’s also a protector and a heartbroken mother with a really soft heart inside. I connected with this character because it’s the only way I can act. I don’t know how to act without connecting emotionally and being inspired by everything — from the set to my costume, my makeup, everything.”
Some of Bae’s previous works include Cloud Atlas, The Host, and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.
Djimon Hounsou - Titus
Titus was once a great military leader but is now a drunken gladiator lost without a purpose.
“He’s a defender of the innocent and oppressed,” described actor Djimon Hounsou, “a man of the people:”
“Titus is somebody with an inherent obligation to give all of himself to what is just, what is right. He’s a defender of the innocent and oppressed. He’s a man of the people, more so than the system…Personally, this film affected me in a way I’ve never experienced before, physically and emotionally. I felt moved by the story in the way it mimics the indoctrination of the continent of Africa and the political dynamics that still exist in ex-colonies.”
Staz Nair - Tarak
Kora and company first run into Tarak as he’s working to pay off a debt to a rancher. They soon learn much more about him than meets the eye, including the ability to connect with creatures.
While recounting how it felt to get the role, in a press release, Staz Nair noted that when he got the job, he “didn’t know whether to laugh or cry:”
“I'm a huge fan of Zack's, so when I found out I got the job, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did a bit of both. I did this weird Viking-like scream. There was this wonderful feeling of being ready for this role and being ready to step in and do my best, but also still being able to look at it from the perspective of a fan and a spectator. I count myself insurmountably lucky. It was the most exciting opportunity of my life."
Game of Thrones, Humans, and Supergirl are some of the previous projects the actor has been involved in.
Cleopatra Coleman - Devra Bloodaxe
Devra Bloodaxe is the leader of a key group of insurgents on the run from the Motherworld. Cleopatra Coleman’s character is also the sister of Darrian Bloodaxe.
Coleman considers her Bloodaxe sibling as “the real leader” and the “brains” of the operation:
“Devra co-leads this rebel army with her brother Darrian, but I think she’s the real leader. She’s the brains, and Darrian is the brawn. He’ll act on a whim, whereas Devra’s almost like a politician. She won’t take a single step before considering every single angle and how it affects the entire group. Even if that’s an unpopular choice, she’s willing to put her emotions to the side while Darrian wears his feelings on his sleeve.”
Coleman was recently in Cobweb and Infinity Pool and television shows like Dopesick and The Last Man on Earth.
Ray Fisher - Darrian Bloodaxe
Darrian Bloodaxe, played by Ray Fisher, is the brains of his insurgency and usually the man to give a rousing speech.
“Darrian leads with his heart,” described Fisher in a press release, and he hopes to “inspire countless others to the cause:”
“I think he recognizes the purity of where he and his sister first started when the Bloodaxes began their rebellion. Devra is much more of a logic-minded individual. And we see it time and time again when you face wins and losses — some of those losses embolden you, and some make you a bit more reserved or skeptical. But Darrian leads with his heart and understands that joining the fight will inspire countless others to the cause.”
Fisher is mostly known for his role as Cyborg in the DCEU, having appeared in Justice League.
E. Duffy - Milius
Duffy is Milius, a Bloodaxe foot soldier who serves under Darrian.
“Milius is extremely courageous and brave,” Duffy shared, and she has “an eternal sense of truth:”
“Milius is extremely courageous and brave. I think I’ve learned a lot about bravery from them. There’s an eternal sense of truth in Milius’ heart, that there’s a right and a wrong, and that you can find a purpose and a reason for living in the worst of circumstances. They’re this fiery ball of something you can’t really contain, but it’s always there in the morning and the next morning, just doing the same job every day.”
Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire is Duffy’s biggest on-screen credit.
Fra Fee - Balisarius
The big bad of the universe, Balisarius, played by Fra Fee, is a power-hungry regent of the imperium.
While the character is the villain, Fee admitted that “very much is left to the audience’s imagination at this stage:”
“Balisarius is the overarching villain of this piece, but very much is left to the audience’s imagination at this stage. I think it’ll be fascinating for them to figure out how and why this person came to such a powerful position through these little snippets of information you get throughout the movie. Zack [Snyder] encouraged me and gave me license to use my own accent in this piece, which is really cool because I don’t get to use it on screen all that much. It hints at the fact that Balisarius is an outsider, he has infiltrated this world. It works very well.”
Fee recently played Kazi in Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye on Disney+.
Anthony Hopkins - Jimmy
Anthony Hopkins plays Jimmy, an ancient mechanized soldier who was once meant to protect the royal family. Now, they must find a new purpose.
Director Zack Snyder praised Hopkins as “one of the greatest living actors of any generation:”
“Anthony is one of the greatest living actors of any generation. The fact that we were able to get him into the movie was a blessing and an honor. I pitched Jimmy to him as a character with a lot of heart that happens to be a robot, and because he goes on this journey of self-discovery, I felt that aspect of the character would be interesting to him.”
Hopkins is known for his roles in The Silence of the Lambs, Hitchcock, and Nixon.
Corey Stoll - Sindri
Corey Stoll is Sindhi, the leader of the villain community Kora and Gunnar are from.
Stoll has been in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, House of Cards, and Billions.
Jena Malone - Harmada
Jena Malone plays a giant creature that is half-woman, half-spider. She is pitted against Nemesis after refusing to return a kidnapped child.
Malone can also be seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Swallowed, and The Neon Demon.
Cary Elwes - The King
Cary Elwes is The King, who is only briefly seen throughout the movie.
Elwes is known for his parts in The Princess Bride, Saw, and Stranger Things.
Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire is now streaming on Netflix.