One would think that Bryan Singer, who, in addition to getting fired off the upcoming Bohemian Rhapsody because he couldn’t show up to work like a professional, has also weathered numerous allegations of sexual assault, should be persona non grata to studios. Even if you’re willing to overlook the claims of young men who have spoken out against Singer, you still have a guy who’s bad for your bottom line because he’s proven to be notoriously unreliable. And yet today we have a story of Millennium looking to pay Singer “top dollar” to direct a new adaptation of Red Sonja.
According to THR, “Millennium is financing and producing the new version of Sonja and is hoping to start a franchise and capture the audience that turned out for Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman.” For those unfamiliar with Red Sonja, the title character is a spinoff of Conan the Barbarian and was previously adapted into a movie in 1985 starring Brigitte Nielsen.
For their part, Millennium says they’re willing to work with Singer (who doesn’t even have an agency because he was dropped by WME earlier this year; he’s negotiating this with attorney), because “none of the allegations seem to have merit,” says an insider. And that’s just so freaking dumb because even if you’re willing to ignore those allegations, do you really want to invite that controversy and have it hanging over your movie? Set aside the morality (since I’m not going to look to a Hollywood studio for that); it’s just bad business to have a guy as unreliable and shady as Singer at the helm of your movie, especially when you’re trying to start a franchise.
Perhaps you could make the argument that Singer’s name is valuable because you can slap “From the Director of X-Men” on the poster, and while that may be true, it certainly wasn’t enough of a draw for Jack the Giant Slayer, so why would it be any different for Red Sonja? Also, let’s not overlook the dozens of qualified female directors who could probably make a kick-ass Red Sonja movie and do it without the stink Singer brings to this project.
This could all be an attempt by Singer’s people to rehabilitate his image by leaking talk of the negotiations, but if so, then Millennium should shut this down quickly. They can still make their Red Sonja movie, but they’d be smart to push aside Singer and announce they’re looking for a woman to helm this movie.