Rebel Moon producer Deborah Snyder recently explained how they allegedly made it believable for Sofia Boutella’s character, Kora, is an “amazing warrior.”
Snyder alongside her husband and the films’ director Zack Snyder spoke with IGN about the film and were asked, “Sofia Boutella leads the warriors as Kora. How’d you end up casting Sofia? What was it like working with her?”
Zack initially responded, “Sofia’s amazing. I had her in mind really from the beginning. I would tell Debbie about, “Oh, I really wanted Sofia to be this character.” And everyone was like, “Okay, that could be cool, but we should probably look for, do a real audition and-”
After Zack implied Boutella was going to be his choice, Deborah chimed in saying, “And we tested five women. And Sofia really just shined through because it’s such a difficult role because her character is so complex. She’s also the heart of the film.”
She then discussed how important it was to show the character as a warrior, “But she also, the physicality required to do the role is just – it was so important to us that it was believable that she was this amazing warrior. And she has a dance background and incredibly, she learned all the choreography so quick and she wanted to do all of the fighting herself.”
“And she did other than one: we were going to throw her character off the side of a scaffolding and we were all like, ‘That’s not really safe for you to do.’ She wanted to do it, but everything else she did all her own fighting,” she concluded.
Having a female character playing a typical male role will more than likely be a hard sell in a market that has been oversaturated with insufferable female characters attempting to be men in Hollywood movies.
In fact, former Canadian TV executive Paul Chato in his review of Ahsoka lambasted this trope that Hollywood has embraced.
Chato said, “Women can’t do gravitas the way male actors can. Oh, unless you are Betty Davis after smoking a pack of Marlboros and downing a bottle of bourbon. Certainly, the pipes have something to do with it. And the larger presence does also.
He continued, “Here’s the thing, when women try to imitate male badass they just look boring ass. They do this stern thing. Replace Dawson and [Mary Elizabeth] Winstead, who plays General Syndulla with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef this thing would rock.”
“All the women here are boring including baddie Shin Hati played by Ivanna Sakhno who is dwarfed by Ray Stevenson playing Baylan Skoll. Every time he sends her off to kill people it looks like he’s letting a chihuahua off its leash. You go girl,” he mocked.
“Female badassery is best when it’s, ‘Don’t you touch my children, b****es!’ Women do mama bear really well. Lack of emotion does not make things more dramatic,” he finished his mini rant.
Snyder’s comments about Boutella’s character being the heart of the film, also appears to contradict what Zack Snyder previously told Vanity Fair about the film.
Zack informed the outlet that a so-called non-binary character named Milius is the heart of the film. He said, “I think it’s heart. That really is their specialty. In a lot of ways, they have the purest motivation to fight.”
He added, “Everyone else is battling some past demon, whereas Milius feels, ‘My world was destroyed, and it was very similar to this world. I didn’t get a chance to defend it, so I choose this one to defend.’”
Interestingly, earlier in the interview with IGN, the Snyders discussed how the film evolved from a Star Wars pitch he made to Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm before the studio was purchased by The Walt Disney Company.
Zack said, “Well, it was an evolution anyway. When we started working on the idea, before even it was a Star Wars movie in my mind, it was a “put a team together” movie. There’s an adult illustrated fantasy magazine called Heavy Metal that I always was in love with, just the tone of that really was inspirational to me.”
“Even when I was in the early talks with Kathleen Kennedy about maybe making a Star Wars movie, I would say things like, ‘Maybe it could be rated R.’ And they would say, ‘Yeah, no, that’s crazy.’ So I knew it was going to be a bit of a slog,” he relayed. “But then after the sale, and they had their own sort of vision for what the Star Wars universe would be, it was clear to me pretty much at that point that it wasn’t going to be anything to do with this idea. And Debbie was super happy about that because she thought-”
Deborah then interjected, “I was really happy. Well, I felt like he envisioned this as something that was wholly original. And I felt – like, I know after working a decade on DC what canon means and what it means to the fans – and I just felt like there would be too many rules and that he could really kind of go crazy if it was something that was original and the handcuffs were off.”
Based on the first film’s first trailer and what the Snyders have previously discussed about the film, it appears to be extremely similar to what Lucasfilm actually created with The Force Awakens. It features a female warrior protagonist who recruits a team to take on an evil empire.
The main difference appears to be that in The Force Awakens Daisy Ridley’s Rey appears to stumble upon the team to take on the First Order while Boutella’s Kora has this idea after the agricultural planet she’s fled to is occupied by the Mother World.
Snyder’s film also appears to have a much larger cast with a wider array of backgrounds and abilities compared to The Force Awakens, which primarily focuses on Rey, but does introduce Poe Dameron, Finn, BB-8, and Maz Kanata.
What do you make of Deborah Snyder’s comments about Boutella’s character, Kora?