Simon West to Direct RED SONJA; Amber Heard Top Choice to Star

     February 10, 2011

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A few years ago, a reboot/remake/relaunch of Red Sonja was in the works with Rose McGowan attached to star and Robert Rodriguez producing.  While that adaptation fell apart, producer Avi Lerner still plans to bring the buxom red-headed barbarian back to the big screen.  Lerner tells Empire that they’re planning to shoot Red Sonja after Conan and that Simon West (The Mechanic) will direct:

“We didn’t want to start it until we’d finished Conan,” he tells us, but with confidence in Marcus Nispel’s revivified warrior growing, and a sequel already in development, Lerner reveals that “We will definitely shoot Red Sonja in between Conan and Conan 2. We already chose the director: an English guy called Simon West.”

And who does Lerner see as his new Sonja?  Rising star Amber Heard.  Hit the jump for more on Lerner’s dream casting.

Lerner says West plans to direct Sonja after he wraps on The Medallion starring Nicolas Cage.  And as for who he wants as Sonja, it’s Cage’s Drive Angry co-star, Amber Heard:

“We’re talking to a few girls for the role of Sonja,” he says, “but we just finished a movie called Drive Angry with Amber Heard, and I want to see her. She’s my favourite for the role.”

Mandy Lane as a sword-wielding, free-running warrioress? Oh hells yes. “Amber is the new Red Sonja… but she doesn’t know it yet!” laughs the producer. “When you write it she’ll get the shock of her life! She’ll call me and say ‘How dare you talk to Empire before you talk to me?!'”

Heard strikes me as a little too petite for a role which was played by the 6-foot Bridgette Nielsen in the 1985 adaptation.  Of course, Heard is taller than McGowan, and Hollywood cinematographers have perfected the art of making actors appear taller or shorter than they actually are.  Also, I haven’t seen Heard kick ass in Drive Angry and if she’s got the ferocity required for the role, then I’m open to seeing her grab a broadsword and don a chain-mail bikini (actually, I’m open to that in any situation whatsoever).



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