EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Films’ Red Sonja film with Bryan Singer is being put on the back burner. After the movie was on the slate last year at the American Film Market, the prolific U.S. mini-studio has told us, “the project is not on the slate at the moment and is not for sale at the EFM in Berlin.”
Embattled Bohemian Rhapsody director Singer has not been formally removed from Red Sonja, but Millennium’s statement seems to at least acknowledge the filmmaker may not be the right fit for the movie at this juncture.
The big-budget action-fantasy film, which has been on the The Expendables outfit’s slate for more than a decade, was expected to shoot this year in Bulgaria, but that won’t be happening. Cast has not been set.
Singer has been the subject of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, most recently in an Atlantic exposé detailing sex with underage boys. The director has vehemently denied wrongdoing and has not been charged or convicted of a crime.
Box office sensation Bohemian Rhapsody has five Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Last week, BAFTA took the unusual step of removing the filmmaker from contention in its Outstanding British Film Category due to the allegations. In the U.S., GLAAD went a step further by removing the Queen biopic entirely from its nominees.
The allegations have led to intense scrutiny over the choice of Singer to direct comic book adaptation Red Sonja, about a sword-wielding heroine with a dark backstory including her sexual assault. Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner last week rowed back comments he made two weeks ago praising the director and confirming him as the film’s director.
The comments “came out the wrong way”, he said last week, though the veteran producer stopped short of officially removing Singer from the project.
“I think victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously,” he said last week. “I just don’t agree to judge by Twitter. I want [the accused] to be judged by the court.”