For a long time, Robert Rodriguez talked about making a film based off of Robert E Howard’s Red Sonja sword and sorcery pulp stories of the 1930s with his gal pal Rose McGowan as the probable lead for Nu Image Films. But as time and other projects piled up on Rodriguez’s schedule it became apparent that the director was not going to be getting to the project anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean that Nu Image has given up on the idea of a Red Sonja film and producer Avi Lerner told MTV that the project is very firmly still on their schedule. Con Air director Simon West is set to direct the film and now that Nu Image is wrapping up their work on the upcoming Conan The Barbarian, also based on a Howard literary creation, the studio is turning their attention to Red Sonja.
We didn’t want to start it until we’d finished Conan… We will definitely shoot Red Sonja in between Conan and Conan 2.
(I wouldn’t read too much into Lerner’s hopes for a Conan 2 as an indicator that they know that they have box office gold with the upcoming film so much as a practical business plan to be ready to go into production on a sequel if the movie does well at the box office.)
As for McGown, we already knew that she was probably not going to be playing Sonja once Conan‘s director Marcus Nispel’s cast her in the upcoming film as “an evil half-human/half-witch.” But Lerner has a replacement in mind, the star from his upcoming Drive Angry, Amber Heard, though he admits that he hasn’t been approached the actress about it yet.
We’re talking to a few girls for the role of Sonja, but we just finished a movie called Drive Angry with Amber Heard, and I want to see her… She’s my favorite for the role. … Amber is the new Red Sonja… but she doesn’t know it yet!
Well, if she has a computer, internet access and her name on Google Alerts, then she does now.