On the one side is a talented director whose recent career has become shrouded in controversy. On the other, a film that has been in development hell for the better part of a decade.
The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive that Bryan Singer is in talks with Millennium to direct the Red Sonja revamp that has been around since 2008. He would be working from a script by Ashley Miller.
This news comes nearly nine and a half months after Singer went into self-imposed exile after the one-two punch of being fired as director of Bohemian Rhapsody on December 4, 2017 and a lawsuit filed by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman on December 7, 2017 stating that Singer raped in back in 2003 when he was 17-years-old.
His firing from Bohemian Rhapsody came after reports of erratic behavior by Singer on the set of the film, starting with the director coming in late, clashing with star Rami Malek, to eventually not showing up at work at all.
The lawsuit, which as of June of this year was still going on, is the third such lawsuit in the past four years accusing Singer of forcing himself on underage boys at Hollywood parties. The two prior lawsuits, both filed in 2014, were both withdrawn by the accusers before they could go to trial.
A Red Sonja film has been in the works since 2008 when Robert Rodriguez signed on to produce and direct a film as a pet project for his then-fiancee Rose McGowan to star in. That project went the way of their romance, but the idea of a film kept bubbling underneath the surface since then.
Red Sonja first appeared in Conan the Barbarian #23 in 1973 with her origin appearing in Kull and the Barbarians #3. Sonja was a victim of a mercenary attack on her village. The mercenaries killed her family and brutally raped her before setting fire to her family home. She cried out to the gods seeking vengeance and was answered. Scáthach, a warrior woman from Celtic mythology, hears her prayers and grants Sonja the skills of a seasoned warrior, better than most men, to use in her pursuit of justice. The only qualification is that Sonja must never “lie with a man” that cannot best her in combat.That origin has made the character problematic in the eyes of some fans and I’m sure will generate some negative attention if it is kept in the new film.
The idea of an accused racist has generated a lot of commentary on Twitter, almost completely negative.
OH COME ON!!! https://t.co/9IFvZljspn
— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) September 17, 2018
Bryan Singer repeatedly disappears from film sets during shooting and has a series of scandalous stories plaguing his entire reputation, but surely there aren't any great female filmmakers who could've directed RED SONJA so I guess it makes sense that he would get the gig
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) September 17, 2018
How Does That Motherfucker Still Get Work Part Eleventy Billion: Bryan Singer maybe directing Red Sonja goes beyond tone-deafness. It's an act of sociopathic malice.
— Vincent Warren (@flyasscaracal) September 17, 2018
Bryan Singer is the teflon rapist
— JR Lipari (@JoeLipari) September 17, 2018
I don't understand why it's okay for Bryan Singer, a man w/ a history of sexual abuse scandals, is given the okay to direct a movie again; while James Gunn, who has a history of no legal/abuse scandals, gets kicked off of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3. #RehireJamesGunn #MeToo
— Jeremy Fuscaldo is back from Keystone Comic Con (@JeremyFuscaldo) September 17, 2018
I’d love a new Red Sonja movie, but not from the guy who has dodged sexual abuse charges for the last 20 years. Bryan Singer has an excellent PR team/enablers as many of his sex offender pals get fired or go to jail, but Singer just keeps on getting offered choice gigs
— Henry Gilbert (@hEnereyG) September 17, 2018
Just read the Bryan Singer news and I guess we're not even making the slightest gesture toward there being consequences and punishment anymore.
— Wolfgang Amadeus Flowchart (@Ingwit_) September 17, 2018
Bryan Singer Returns sounds like the worst sequel ever.
— Tom Reagan’s Hat (@andymannion77) September 17, 2018
An unnamed insider at Millennium said that the reason they felt safe hiring Singer was because”none of the allegations seem to have merit.” It seems they have merit with some of the people who would make up the film’s audience, though.
More on this trainwreck as it develops.