Rebel Moon Part One premieres at a special time (here's how to watch)

The first part of Zack Snyder's epic space opera Rebel Moon is coming to Netflix early! Find out how to watch the sci-fi movie tonight.
Rebel Moon. Sofia Boutella as Kora in Rebel Moon. Cr. Clay Enos/Netflix ©2023
Rebel Moon. Sofia Boutella as Kora in Rebel Moon. Cr. Clay Enos/Netflix ©2023 /

Most people are aware that 99.9% of Netflix content premieres at midnight PST or 3:00 a.m. EST, regardless of it's a Netflix Original or just licensed content being added. But Netflix is opting for something unique with its big December release of Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire.

While Rebel Moon: Part One is technically scheduled to start streaming on Friday, Dec. 22, Netflix subscribers will actually be able to watch the movie the night before, on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 10:00 p.m. EST, meaning those on the west coast will actually get the chance to watch it even earlier.

To refresh, here's when viewers can start watching Rebel Moon: Part One

  • Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7:00 p.m. PST
  • Thursday, Dec. 21 at 10:00 p.m. EST

Netflix's decision to change the release time of this movie isn't unheard of, but usually the streamer does things like this for its reality shows and not scripted content. But perhaps this is an indication of a shifting landscape at Netflix and an attempt to recapture the magic that comes with communal viewing.

By setting a specific time for the movie to debut early, millions of subscribers can tune in at the same time, just like we used to do all the time with cable. Netflix recently did this with the Squid Game: The Challenge finale, but has also done it with reality television reunions like Selling Sunset and Love Is Blind.

Rebel Moon. One of the many unique characters found inhabiting the numerous planets of Rebel Moon. Cr. Clay Enos/Netflix ©2023 /

What's the deal with the Rebel Moon: Part One director's cut?

Netflix is going big on their new Zack Snyder-created IP. In addition to Rebel Moon's first movie being split into two parts, the second of which will premiere in Apr. 2024, the films are also getting a second, R-rated director's cut that will be longer and include more mature content.

It's unclear when the director's cut will be released, but it will be R-rated while the other version is PG-13. Netflix hasn't said if the two versions are coming out on the same day or not. Personally, I think it's a little silly to do two cuts like this when Snyder was essentially given carte blanche to tell his story. Netflix released Martin Scorsese's three-hour Irishman in 2019, and two of the biggest movies of 2023 were also R-rated and over three hours (Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon).

I think viewers can decide for themselves whether they want to watch another lengthy R-rated title. I've also seen several critics say the director's cut is the superior version, so why not make that the only version? If I watch the PG-13 one, which is already pushing it in terms of length, and dislike it, what makes Netflix think I would then turn around and rewatch and even longer version? At the very least, I hope both versions are out on the same day because odds are, most of us are only going to watch one.

Concerning the director's cut, Snyder recently spoke with and had this to say about it:

"I think that the director's cut sort of contains a slightly more sort of sci-fi, deconstructive element. Because for me, one of the things that I was tackling in, sort of conceptually, when I was thinking about it, was a way to have the irony of something like heavy metal, something super violent, super sexual, super visually gigantic in a movie where it has no business belonging in a movie like this."

Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire premieres tonight at 10 p.m. EST on Netflix. Rebel Moon: Part Two - The Scargiver, debuts on Apr. 19, 2024.

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