EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Films is looking for the next Gal Gadot. With the success of female superhero feature Wonder Woman having smashed box office records, another female heroine is running headlong with sword in hand to the big screen. Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, the fictional American comic book jungle girl, is now poised to return after 33 years, courtesy of Millennium Films. And what better timing? Wonder Woman proved that a female hero can pull in four-quads; it has taken in a total of $813.2M worldwide.
Ironically, Millennium had Gadot already cast in their 2016 feature Criminal before Warner Bros. picked her up for Batman v Superman. Sheena, the movie, is targeting a summer 2018 start.
Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was actually the first female comic book character with her own title in 1938 and was the first comic book to title-star a female character preceding Wonder Woman in 1941. She was predated in literature by Rima, the Jungle Girl, introduced in the 1904 William Henry Hudson novel Green Mansions.
The story of Sheena is that she was orphaned and then grew up with wild animals and learned to survive fighting with makeshift weapons and later knives, spears and bows and arrows; she would then fight evil out of the jungle.
Model Irish McCalla portrayed Sheena in a 26-episode TV series aired in first-run syndication from 1955 to 1956. Tanya Roberts starred in the feature version from Columbia Pictures in 1984.
Producing the picture will be Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Joe Gatta, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson. Joining them is Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell as producers.
Interesting that Gatta is in the list of producers. We heard that Gatta quietly returned to work alongside Lerner in April after a stint as President of Red Granite Pictures where he oversaw a handful of successes including Friends With Kids, The Wolf of Wall St. and Dumb and Dumber To. We did hear that he left Red Granite just prior to the company being investigated by the FBI to work with an alliance of foreign distributors including TMG, SND, Scanbox and Salim Ramia to form Solidarity Pictures with Joni Sighvatsson.