Rebel Ridge, created by Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) and starring John Boyega (Star Wars) was among our most anticipated titles. In June 2021, however, production came to a halt after Boyega dropped out of the project for family reasons. With that said, filming is now reportedly due to get back underway on Rebel Ridge with a brand new lead in the form of Aaron Pierre in 2022.
Saulnier, who will write and direct the film, is best known for his work on Green Room starring the late Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poots.
More recently Saulnier directed Hold the Dark for Netflix, which starred Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgard. The director of photography for Rebel Ridge was chosen to be Magnus Nordenhof Jonck, who worked on The OA, Borgen and Hold the Dark.
Rebel Ridge is being produced by Filmscience (Blue Ruin, Hold the Dark, Green Room) and Bonneville Pictures (The Pool). Macon Blair (Room 104, Blue Ruin) will serve as an executive producer as will Louise Lovegrove (The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then Bigfoot). Matt Levin (Hold the Dark, Apostle) will be in charge of production.
Rebel Ridge was first announced in November 2019 and here’s the latest on everything we know about it.
What is the plot of Rebel Ridge?
Netflix’s Rebel Ridge is described as a high-velocity thriller with bone-breaking action sequences, suspense, and dark humor. The plot involves Boyega’s (now Pierre) character, an ex-marine who takes on a group of dirty cops. The film will also explore systemic American injustices, systemic racism in particular.
The official logline for the movie is as follows:
“About an ex-marine who takes on a group of dirty cops in a high-velocity thriller that explores systemic American injustices through bone-breaking action sequences and dark humor”
Who was cast in Rebel Ridge and who is now?
Star Wars’ sequel trilogy star John Boyega was to lead the cast of Rebel Ridge. Boyega came fresh off his other upcoming Netflix movie, a sci-fi action flick They Cloned Tyrone which wrapped in January 2021 and premiering in 2022.
Boyega was set to be joined by Golden Globe winner Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Django Unchained), Oscar nominee James Cromwell (The Green Mile, The General’s Daughter), James Badge Dale (The Departed, Iron Man 3), Zsane Jhe (Black Lightning, Watchmen), and Erin Doherty (The Crown). Their roles currently remain unknown.
In June 2021, it was announced that John Boyega was no longer part of the cast as he departed the project mid-shoot due to family reasons. Netflix was reportedly looking for his replacement.
In October 2021, it was reported that Netflix had found its John Boyega replacement in the form of Aaron Pierre who is known for The Underground Railroad and M. Night Shyamalan’s mystery horror, Old.
Also joining the cast are Anna Sophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia) and Emory Cohen (The OA).
Reportedly returning from the original cast:
- Don Johnson
- James Badge Dale
- Zsane Jhe
- James Cromwell
What’s the production status of Rebel Ridge?
After a long development process and COVID-related delays, Netflix’s Rebel Ridge was reportedly set to enter production on April 5, 2021 in New Orleans and Louisianna. Filming was expected to last until May 29, 2021 provided there are no further hiccups caused by COVID-19. Those dates were eventually unrealistic with Variety Insight reporting that filming eventually did get underway on May 3rd, 2021.
A casting call was put out in September 2021 for the project.
In January, Boyega shared that he should be training up for the production (this is a screenshot of the Tweet given Boyega has since deleted his profile).
On May 10th, 2021 – KALB (an NBC news affiliate) posted that filming for the movie was taking place in Downtown Leesville in Louisiana. They state that they were filming in the area until May 12th before moving to Slidell, Louisiana.
On June 3, 2021 (around a month after beginning filming) Netflix announced that Boyega had to exit the project due to family reasons. That meant all production on the project ceased.
“Rebel Ridge is pausing temporarily as we look to re-cast John Boyega who needed to leave the project for family reasons. We remain committed to Jeremy Saulnier’s extraordinary film and look forward to resuming production. We look forward to continuing our partnership with John Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions, in addition to our upcoming film They Cloned Tyrone in which he also stars.”
According to sources from The Hollywood Reporter, Boyega quit the production without telling anyone and the alleged reasons were related to the script and his accommodations. THR also suggests that even Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos tried to persuade Boyega to come back. His agent, however, defended his client in a statement:
“I can categorically say that these rumours are completely untrue. People will form their opinions often rooted from boredom. As stated John unfortunately left due to family reasons which in truth is none of anyone’s business except his own. John and Netflix have a wonderful relation which will continue to grow for years to come whether that be through his acting or through [Boyega’s production company] UpperRoom.”
After those stories in June 2021, everything went quiet on the project but new production listings seem to suggest signs of life in the project once again.
In a new ProductionWeekly listing, they state that filming is set to pick up again between April 18th to June 24th, 2022.
We reached out to Netflix on the new filming dates who declined to comment beyond what’s already publicly known.
When will Rebel Ridge be released on Netflix?
The movie with its new production will unlikely release in 2022 (it wasn’t included in the 2022 movie lineup provided by Netflix) so in all likelihood will appear on our screens in 2023.
Are you looking forward to seeing Rebel Ridge? Let us know in the comments.