Red Sonja Goes Back on the Shelf
Content Warning: Sexual Assault
Following allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against director Bryan Singer, Millenium Pictures placed Red Sonja “on the back burner.” Singer is not expected to return.
Red Sonja’s Controversial Director
Bohemian Rhapsody premiered in November of 2018 and earned an impressive profit. Then, the film gained a lot of love on the awards circuit. Though at the center of the conversation surrounding the film is a controversial figure: Bryan Singer. Singer, best known for X-Men and The Usual Suspects, is an alleged pedophile. Over the course of his career, several people have accused the director of sexual misconduct. But, every lawsuit brought against him was settled out of court. Furthermore, the filmmaker’s earned a reputation as an ill-tempered and unreliable person. On several occasions, he did not show up to the set of Bohemian Rhapsody. Eventually, Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher replaced Singer as the director of the film. Amidst his erratic behavior, new conversations about his sexual misconduct arose.
After the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, Millenium Pictures announced Singer as the director of Red Sonja. Red Sonja is a sword-and-sandals comic book. Following this announcement, fans of the character clamored for his removal. Red Sonja, after all, is a sexual assault survivor. Singer has an extensive background in action and comic book movies. However, the allegations and his unpredictable behavior tainted the studio’s choice.
The Atlantic Exposé
In early February 2019, The Atlantic published a lengthy piece detailing Singer’s abuse over the years. The outlet spoke with several victims. They also confirmed story details with other witnesses. The piece spares no details, and paints the director as a monster. Obviously, public outrage ensued. Following the article, Millenium Pictures placed the Red Sonja project on the shelf. Singer will not return as director.
However, prior to the official announcement, the studio’s CEO sang the praises of the director and his upcoming film. Following the announcement, he walked back his statement and said he wants the victims taken seriously and the accused abuser judged by the court, not Twitter.
Clearly, this whole situation is heartbreaking. Hopefully, the victims of Singer’s abuses receive vindication, and he receives appropriate punishment. While the Red Sonja film is less important than the real-life trauma enacted by its one-time director, I do think the film needs to be made. Red Sonja can provide some catharsis for those fighting for justice.