‘Rebel Moon’: Zack Snyder Says The Sex & Violence In His Extreme, R-Rated Versions Is “So Over The Top,” & More ‘Heavy Metal’

Zack Snyder’sRebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” is almost upon us, debuting on Netflix this Friday, April 19 (read our review of ‘Part One’). Given its imminent release, the filmmaker appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast to discuss Rebel Moon’ and his entire career. While Snyder talked about much of his career, his time in the DC Universe, and more—he also revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio had some discussions about playing Lex Luthor before ultimately turning down the role—Snyder’s conversations about the R-Rated versions of “Rebel Moon” were arguably the most fascinating.

The director once hoped to make a “Heavy Metal” movie—the 1970s & ’80s mature sci-fi magazine for adults— and he’s talked about its influence a lot lately. But in this interview, Snyder gave his most insightful comments about how his R-rated ‘Rebel Moon’ differs from the PG-13 films we know and “Heavy Metal” significantly influenced the tone.

Snyder described the two versions as reasonably different, and while no one has seen them yet, he made a good case for why they’re distinct, and the chief reason seems to be that they are tonally different and much more extreme; Snyder insisting the sex and violence is very melodramatic in the upcoming R-Rated versions.

READ MORE: Zack Snyder Recalls ‘Rebel Moon’ Pitch To Lucasfilm:” I’m Gonna Fix ‘Star Wars’ Cause They Had Gone Astray”

“In the R-rated version of the movie, everything is amplified,” he explained about his upcoming R-rated versions of both ‘Rebel Moon’ that should arrive in the summer. “The R-Rated versions of the movie have a slightly more satirical [bent], the PG-13 movies end up being pretty earnest, because they don’t have sex and violence to over-the-top them [because] on the R-Rated version—because the violence and sex is so over-the-top—that the tone changes because you’re like, ‘wow, I’m in this Heavy Metal’ version of this movie, really, really in it!’ And I think that was unachievable in the PG-13 version, so we really doubled down on the earnestness—not that those scenes don’t exist in the R-rated version because they do—but they’re almost more over the top [in the R-rated version] because it’s funner, it’s crazier, everything’s stupid in a great way.”

Honestly, they sound pretty intriguing. The director explained the differences between the two films, and now it’s really easy to understand how different they might be from the cuts we know (or will soon know in the case of ‘The Scargiver’).

“So [the R-rated versions] allows the comment on the genre to be more obvious whereas, in the PG-13, it’s just more straightforward, like this is an actioner with sci-fi elements and all these things, let’s really just go: movie time,” he continued. “Whereas the R-rated version is just a little bit weirder. It’s just weird and you’re like, ‘oh wow, it makes you think about genre and what’s possible in sci-fi and what’s not, and it really draws attention about what you can and can’t do. This is not allowed in sci-fi! And that’s a different conversation, but super fun.”

Asked why he stuck with ‘Rebel Moon,’ and what compelled him to make it even though it was originally a ‘Star Wars’ pitch turned down by Lucasfilm, Snyder suggested there’s a bit of a meta element in the way the films comment on and play with the norms of the genre.’ pitch, Snyder suggested there’s a bit of a meta element in the way the films comment on and play with the norms of the genre.

“I kept coming back to [‘Rebel Moon’] because it had something to say about the tropes of sci-fi and the ‘why’ of sci-if in our culture as this iconic genre that’s kinda sacred and weird, the [arbitrary boundaries], 100% and I just thought, I couldn’t get it out of my head that there’s gotta be a ‘why’ of it, and how do we break it? So it’s pretty ironic because I wrote this very extreme R-rated bizarro sci-fi movie to test it, but now you’ve gotten the earnest version too first, which is ironic and kinda cool, cause I’ll kinda deconstruct my own movie with the director’s cut so it’s a closed loop.”

We’ll still have to wait a few months to see what he really means. Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” premieres Friday, April 19, on Netflix, and the filmmaker has recently said that the two R-rated versions will probably arrive sometime in August on the streaming channel. Check out the entire conversation below.