I discussed this Red Sonja project briefly last October. At the time, Bryan Singer was still attached as director. Since then, there have been brand-new allegations levied against the critically acclaimed director. He has once again been accused of sexually assaulting minors in an expose published by the Atlantic who published a lengthy article based on a 12-month investigation. It details the stories of four alleged victims who said they were seduced and molested by the “Bohemian Rhapsody” director while underage. Three of the men spoke on the condition of anonymity. The other, Victor Valdovinos, said he was molested by Singer on the set of 1998’s “Apt Pupil” when he was in the seventh grade.
Singer was most recently fired from the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody during filming for absence and clashing with the cast and crew, before he was quietly rehired for the editing process. That film garnered two Golden Globes awards, and multiple Oscar nominations, though Singer has been largely absent from accepting or promoting the film’s accolades.
Still, the producer of the upcoming Red Sonja film insists Singer will remain attached to direct Millennium Film project despite these new allegations of sexual abuse levied against the X-Men director. Millenium’s founder/CEO Avi Lerner issued a statement regarding the allegations, which he called “fake news,” saying he and his company stand by Singer.
“I continue to be in development for Red Sonja and Bryan Singer continues to be attached,” said Lerner in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “The over $800 million Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed, making it the highest grossing drama in film history, is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen. I know the difference between agenda driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.”
I think it’s important to not that Singer is only “attached” to the movie which implies that he does not have a contract yet. Reportedly Bryan Singer’s fee is $10 million to direct a film, but many in Hollywood have called Avi Lerner a “bargain hunter” who probably sees an opportunity to hire a top director at much less than their top salary. So Lerner may get Singer on the cheap, but the question remains, in this era of #MeToo, what actress is going to sign on to this project to play the lead? Most big-name actresses are expensive. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during those negotiations.
It’s fun to speculate like this, especially when the projected release date for Red Sonja has not even been announced.