X-Men director Bryan Singer is in talks to helm the long-gestating Red Sonja remake for Millennium Films. The project has been gestating for a decade and now it looks like Singer coming on board could put it on the fast track to production. At one point, Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct with Rose McGowan set to star. This is a decision that will surely prove to be a controversial one, given the nature of the material, when coupled with the filmmaker’s past.
According to a new report, Bryan Singer is currently in negotiations for Red Sonja, but he hasn’t signed on the dotted line just yet. The filmmaker will reportedly be paid top dollar for his services, should the deal get done. Ashley Miller, who penned the screenplay for X-Men: First Class, which Singer produced, is penning the adaptation of the Conan the Barbarian comic book spin-off. The hope from Millennium, who is financing the project, is that this could turn into a franchise by capturing the same section of moviegoers that turned out in droves to see Wonder Woman last year. But that’s where this situation gets tricky at best.
On paper, having the guy who helped launch the modern era of superhero movies bring Red Sonja to life for modern audiences makes sense, at least with no knowledge beyond what’s there on the surface. However, Bryan Singer has been accused multiple times during the course of his career of sexual misconduct, including a lawsuit from Cesar Sanchez-Guzman which was filed last December, accusing the director of raping him when he was just 17-years-old. In 2014 Michael Egan also had a case dismissed alleging sexual misconduct against Singer.
For his part, Bryan Singer has denied all allegations brought against him and has never been convicted of sexual assault or any similar charges. But the allegations are very troubling and given the climate in Hollywood currently, with the #MeToo and Times Up movements, it’s easy to see why bringing Singer on board to direct a movie such as this would be ill-advised. Not to mention that Singer was removed as director of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after not showing up for work on multiple occasions.
There’s also the matter of the source material at hand. While the character has been around in some shape or form for a very long time, there are character elements that will almost certainly be included in this movie that go against the idea of hiring a man like Bryan Singer for the job. Red Sonja centers on a young woman who has her entire family murdered by a group of mercenaries. After attempting to defend herself, she is raped by the leader of the group. Following these ugly events, a figure known as the red goddess transforms Sonja into a powerful warrior. The catch being that Sonja can never have relations with a man or her powers will be taken away. Even setting any controversy aside, this feels like something a female director would be better suited for.
This report notes that Millennium as taking a chance on Bryan Singer since “none of the allegations seem to have merit.” It’s unclear when Red Sonja could possibly begin filming, but it’s stated that getting Singer on board will put the project on the fast track. That is, unless public opinion gets in the way and derails these negotiations altogether. This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.