Evil has a new face in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon. The role of the Regent Balisarius was originally expected to be played by Rupert Friend in Snyder’s upcoming sci-fi epic. But according to Deadline, Friend has exited the film due to scheduling conflicts. In his place, Snyder has chosen Ed Skrein to spread his own brand of tyranny across the cosmos.
Sophia Boutella will headline Rebel Moon as Kora, a young woman living in a peaceful colony at the edge of the galaxy. But when Balisarius arrives with his armies to bring their planet under his control, Kora seeks out warriors from other worlds to help them make a stand. Skrein has experience playing the bad guy thanks to his role as Ajax in Deadpool. Ironically, this film will also have Skrein appear alongside Michiel Huisman, who famously replaced Skrein as Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones.
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Rebel Moon began production last month, so Friend’s exit comes at a rather inopportune time. But Snyder has already shown that he can handle a last-minute casting switch. After Chris D’Elia was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in 2020, Snyder was forced to cut him from Army of the Dead more than a year after the film wrapped principal photography. Snyder subsequently replaced D’Elia with Tig Notaro and shot her scenes using a mix of green screens and CGI. Regardless, the act of replacing Friend with Skrein probably won’t be as big of a headache. In fact, Deadline doesn’t even mention whether Friend shot any footage of his own prior to leaving.
Skrein isn’t Rebel Moon’s only new cast member. Deadline also confirms that Cleopatra Coleman, Fra Fee, and Rhian Rees have booked supporting roles in the film as well. Unfortunately, their characters’ identities remain a mystery for now.
Netflix hasn’t announced a release date for Rebel Moon.
Do you think Skrein is a suitable replacement for Friend to play the movie’s villain? Let us know in the comment section below!
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