Ed Skrein Joins Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon, Taking Over For A Departing Rupert Friend

Zack Snyder's space epic "Rebel Moon" has just added several more actors to its increasingly sprawling cast, including Ed Skrein taking over for Rupert Friend. Deadline reports that Friend is exiting the project due to scheduling conflicts. The project began production last month.

Friend was initially on board to play the film's main villain, who synopses describe as a tyrannical character named Regent Belisarius who sets his army upon a peaceful space colony. With the "Anatomy of a Scandal" actor moving on, "Deadpool" and "Game of Thrones" actor Skrein will be stepping into the same role. The latest news also comes alongside an expanded cast list that now includes Cleopatra Coleman ("Dopesick"), Fra Fee ("Hawkeye"), and Rhian Rees (2018's "Halloween").

Will Rebel Moon save the galaxy – and Netflix?

No details are readily available about the roles Coleman, Fee, and Rees will be playing in the movie, but they join an already-stacked cast that includes Cary Elwes, Corey Stoll, Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, Alfonso Herrera, Doona Bae, Ray Fisher, Stuart Martin, Michiel Huisman, and Sofia Boutella. Boutella will play the film's lead, a young hero who has to forge alliances with neighboring planets in order to save her own. Funnily enough, the addition of Skrein means both actors who played "Game of Thrones" warrior Daario Naharis (Huisman is the other) are now a part of the "Rebel Moon" cast.

All signs indicate that "Rebel Moon," which was apparently refashioned from Snyder's pitch for a "Star Wars" movie, is intended as the Netflix equivalent of a major blockbuster. The filmmaker has spoken about the scale of the movie before, telling BroBible he's most interested in "creating a romantic sci-fi film on a scale that is, frankly, as big as you can make a movie." Snyder co-wrote the script with his "Army of the Dead" co-writer Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad, with whom he penned the "300" screenplay.

Though not expected until 2023 at the earliest, "Rebel Moon" already looks like an attempt by the streaming giant to create its own major franchise. Ahead of the project's filming, The Hollywood Reporter indicated it will likely be split into two parts, with the opportunity for spin-offs as well. Of course, that was as of April, and plenty has changed over at Netflix since then. Amidst a precipitous stock drop, the streamer was reported to be shedding major projects, as well as toying with the idea of ad-based pricing tiers and even live viewing options. Whatever the streamer's future holds, "Rebel Moon" will be there, and it'll be big.