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Development: Bryan Singer eyeing Red Sonja movie, Anthony Mackie joins Jamie Dornan in sci-fi thriller

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Sep 17, 2018, 5:56 PM EDT

Red Sonja may have found her (controversial) director, a Marvel star lands another new gig, Netflix gets started with its 2020 Christmas list, and Facebook Watch is feeling magical, all in today's development roundup.

In a move that has immediately drawn widespread criticism, Millennium is in negotiations with Bryan Singer to direct a Red Sonja film. Singer, who helmed four of the X-Men films (including the first one back in 2000), has been dogged by allegations of harassment for years and was fired by Fox as director of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after he failed to show up to the set. (He ultimately remained involved with that project, which opens later this fall.)

A Red Sonja feature has been in development for many years, but the project appears to be gaining traction. This past spring, the studio hired Ashley Edward Miller to write a script. Miller wrote the screenplay to the first Thor movie, as well as several episodes of Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, "sources say Millennium will pay Singer top dollar for the assignment, which is seen as a step toward rehabilitating the director's image." Back in 2016 it was reported that Singer was developing a TV series featuring the character.

Red Sonja was created in 1973, debuting in Marvel's Conan the Barbarian comics. Dynamite Entertainment currently publishes a comic book featuring the character, who is known as much as a fearless warrior as for her trademark chain-mail bikini and long red hair. A 1985 film starring Brigitte Nielsen was a critical and commercial failure.


Falcon may have been one of Thanos' finger-snapped victims in Avengers: Infinity War, but the actor who plays him, Anthony Mackie, is ready to hop back into some fantastical scenarios on film. Mackie is in talks to costar with Jamie Dornan (of Fifty Shades of Grey fame) in the upcoming sci-fi film Synchronic.

In the thriller, "the pair will play two New Orleans paramedics, whose lives are ripped apart after encountering a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects," Deadline reports.

While this news shouldn't be taken as a definitive indication of Falcon's ultimate fate in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it should be noted that Mackie also recently signed on to star in the second season of Netflix's futuristic sci-fi series Altered Carbon.

Dornan, who has a role as one of the Merry Men in the upcoming Robin Hood film, previously earned his genre cred as the Huntsman in ABC's Once Upon a Time.

The duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who helmed The Endless, are directing the film, which was scripted by Benson. A release date has not been announced.


Netflix is getting a head start on the holiday spirit. Plans are underway for a Christmas-themed special, titled Jingle Jangle, to premiere in 2020. The family musical is being executive-produced by John Legend and Mike Jackson, the team behind Fox's Emmy-winning Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.

According to Deadline, the film will focus on a toymaker and his granddaughter as they race against the clock to get a very special gadget to work in time for the holidays.


Facebook Watch is conjuring up a new magic-themed program, adding Troy the Magician to its slate. British street magician Troy Von Scheibner stars in the new project, which actually began streaming on his Facebook page earlier this month.

Per Deadline, the show will comprise a slew of "short-form episodes" and include unreleased footage Von Scheibner's "close-up magic and spectacular stunts in London and New York."

The renowned performer previously headlined the series Troy, which aired in the U.S. on SYFY in 2015 (under the title Troy: Street Magic).