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Red Sonja reboot back on track with Transparent creator as writer and director

By Don Kaye
Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil

The Red Sonja movie reboot that was derailed earlier this year has turned things around in a major way.

After the project was put on hold when director Bryan Singer was dropped, Deadline reports that Jill Soloway, creator of the Amazon series Transparent, has landed the gig as the film's new writer and director.

Soloway is said to be coming in with a "bold new take," and it speaks volumes that the production company behind the movie, Millennium Films, has gone 180 degrees away from its previous choice and hired an acclaimed nonbinary creator to shepherd the powerful woman warrior to the screen. Studios are reportedly already interested in partnering with Millennium on the picture.

"I can’t wait to bring Red Sonja’s epic world to life," Soloway said, per Deadline. "Exploring this powerful mythology and evolving what it means to be a heroine is an artistic dream come true."

The previous iteration of the film placed Singer behind the camera, a surprising move considering his controversial stint as director of the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Singer reportedly went missing on that shoot, leading Fox to fire him and hire Dexter Fletcher to complete the last three weeks of filming.

Although the Queen film ended up being a major, Oscar-winning hit, Singer's previous genre effort, 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse, was also dogged by reports of the director's erratic behavior and ended up being a commercial and fan disappointment.

On top of all that, allegations made for years against Singer of sexual misconduct with underage boys resurfaced (which he denied), finally leading Millennium to dismiss him as Red Sonja's director — a forward-thinking move considering also that sexual assault is part of Sonja's brutal background.

Now Soloway will begin working on the script while mulling over who should play Sonja, who was seen on screen once before in the 1985 film starring Brigitte Nielsen. Loosely based on a character invented by Conan the Barbarian creator Robert E. Howard, Red Sonja has been starring in comics published by Marvel and Dynamite almost continuously since the mid-1970s.