Bryan Singer has been mired in allegations of sexual misconduct for a large part of his career, and those allegations have been boiling over in the last year, particularly after Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody for failing to show up for work. Despite Singer’s problems, Millennium Films was willing to plunk down up to $10 million to hire the director to helm their long-delayed Red Sonja movie. But it seems like outcry against this has won out – for now. Millennium has now put the film on hold in the wake of recent allegations against Singer.
Deadline broke the news that about the Red Sonja movie being on hold. Millennium told the publication that “the project is not on the slate at the moment and is not for sale at the EFM in Berlin.”
Red Sonja has been knocking around since at least 2008. That year, Douglas Aarniokoski was hired to direct a Red Sonja movie produced by Robert Rodriguez and starring Rose McGowan. After that didn’t happen, Megan Fox was in the running to star in 2011, but that, too, never came to pass. Con Air director Simon West was rumored as a possible director next, with Amber Heard starring. The project languished in development hell into in 2015, when Christopher Cosmos was hired to write a new script. But then, everything ground to a halt…until 2018, when word broke that Ashley Edward Miller, who wrote X-Men: First Class, would now be handling script duties.
In September of 2018, Singer was announced as the new director, and his hiring immediately raised eyebrows. Even if you wanted to ignore the allegations of sexual misconduct against the director, it’s hard to deny his professional problems as well. Singer has allegedly made a habit of not showing up to his sets for years, and this behavior finally came to a head when he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody. Dexter Fletcher was brought in to finish the film, but Singer still received a directorial credit in the end.
Despite this behind-the-scenes turmoil, Bohemian Rhapsody has become a surprise awards season contender, which has brought Singer’s behavior back into the spotlight. On January 23, the day after Bohemian Rhapsody picked up five Academy Award nominations, The Atlantic published a disturbing new piece in which Singer’s alleged victims told their stories – stories that stretched back for 20 years.
After the Atlantic story broke, there was a renewed outcry against Millennium Films for dishing out a heavy payday to Singer for Red Sonja. At first, Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner issued a tone-deaf defense of Singer, stating: “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.”
After backlash to Lerner’s statements, the producer attempted to walk things back by saying his statement “came out the wrong way” and that he thinks “victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously.” And now, Red Sonja is on hold again. Hopefully, when and if Red Sonja picks up again, it will be without Singer. Heck, maybe they’ll even hire a female director. I hear Hollywood has one or two of them.
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