It looks like the latest efforts to bring Red Sonja back to the screen may have hit a problem. Bryan Singer was due to direct the warrior-woman film and as recently as this week he was still on board to helm the project. Singer, best known for his work on The Usual Suspects and the early (and most successful) entries of The X-Men franchise recently directed the hit Bohemian Rhapsody (the Freddie Mercury / Queen biopic) but was removed from the project amid complaints from cast and crew that he had failed to turn up on set on several occasions. (Actor turned director Dexter Fletcher stepped in to complete the film).
Though the film has received multiple nominations and remains in serious contention for success in several categories at the forthcoming Academy Awards, Singer has largely been exorcised from publicity and his name withdrawn in several categories due to the on-set problems and also the recent controversies over allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour and claims of rape dating back several years. Singer has been openly gay for many years but even some parts of the affirmative-action for better representation such as GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) even went as far as removing the film entirely from its own award nominations due to the controversies.
Though not formally cancelled, Millennium Films – the force behind The Expendables films – have confirmed to industry site Deadline that the film is no longer part of the 2019 slate of films for which the rights are being sold – essentially meaning that the film (originally due to shoot in Bulgaria later in 2019) is on indefinite hold for the time being. Had it gone ahead as planned, the budget was said to be in the range of $70 million.
Red Sonja previously made it to the screen back in 1985 when model-turned actor Brigitte Nielsen starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the project directed by Robert Fleischer. The success of films like Wonder Woman has reignited interest in a range of empowered-women led action outings.