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Dream Casting: Red Sonja

Contributed by
Feb 26, 2019

Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.

News recently broke that the planned Red Sonja movie is on hold, presumably because director Bryan Singer is facing allegations of sexual assault. I'm entirely in favor of Bryan Singer being kick off the project (and all projects), but I think it's a shame to abandon the movie just because of him. I agree with my colleague Kayleigh Donaldson that Red Sonja should continue with a female director.

My personal choice to take over the film would be the Soska Sisters, who love comics and have mostly worked in horror. Whether or not you agree with that choice, I've put together a cast for a Red Sonja movie based on the 2013 comics reboot by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani.

Karen Gillan as Red Sonja

Karen Gillan as Red Sonja

Karen Gillan (Avengers: Infinity War) might want to build up her arm muscles a bit for the full Red Sonja effect, but she's already got the looks and she's a proven genre actor who seems poised for a lead role.

AnnaLynne McCord as Annisia

AnnaLynne McCord as Annisia

AnnaLynne McCord (Excision, Let's Get Physical) has proven that she's not afraid to subvert her beauty for roles and play characters who are genuinely frightening, which is exactly what Annisia should be.

Tiffany Espensen as Ayla and Nias

Tiffany Espensen as Ayla and Nias

In a dual role, Tiffany Espensen (Spider-Man: Homecoming) can capture the innocence and enthusiasm of Ayla and Nias, the young twins who become Sonja's "bodyguards."

Javier Bardem as King Dimath

Javier Bardem as King Dimath

Javier Bardem (Mother!) carries himself with a strength and gravitas that will make him a very believable warrior king.

Manny Montana as Tiath

Manny Montana as Prince Tiath

Tiath isn't a warrior by nature, but he turns out to be plenty dangerous in his own way. Manny Montana (The Mule) can handle that turn with the necessary ambiguity.

Kevin McKidd as Sonja's Father

Kevin McKidd as Sonja's Father

Sonja's late father only appears briefly in flashback, but Kevin McKidd (Rome, Grey's Anatomy) has the perfect look for the role and can make a positive impression in a short time.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Bazrat

Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Bazrat

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Vikings) is capable of being even creepier than he is handsome, and that's the side I'd like to draw on for the role of this villainous king.

Katharine Isabelle as Lila

Katharine Isabelle as Lila

Lila is a cupbearer with a tragic history and far more agency than you'd suspect at first. All of that will make immediate sense when embodied by legendary scream queen Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, Hannibal).

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