It appears as though Millennium Films has finally come to the bold conclusion that having a controversial male director who is plagued with numerous sexual misconduct allegations and lawsuits—not to mention was fired off his last film for not showing up to work—take the helm of a female-fronted action franchise is, actually, a bad idea.
Fresh off of being fired from Bohemian Rhapsody in the midst of production, and in the midst of new allegations of sexual misconduct by multiple accusers, Singer entered talks to direct the big-budget comic book adaptation Red Sonja for Millennium Films last September. The title character is a spinoff of Conan the Barbarian and is intended to kick off a new franchise for Millennium, one with a female lead at its center.
Millennium seemed unphased by the toxicity surrounding Singer, and even doubled down when The Atlantic published a horrifying account of new accusations of sexual assault and harassment. Millennium’s Avi Lerner went so far as to reference “fake news” when reiterating his support for Singer as the director of Red Sonja, only to walk back those comments a couple of weeks later.
Now, per Deadline, the film has been put on the backburner and Singer’s involvement is in doubt. The movie was gearing up to begin production this year, but that’s no longer happening, and no casting has taken place. Even with Singer at the helm, many wondered what actresses would be willing to work with him.
Many called for a female filmmaker to tackle Red Sonja given the subject matter and character, especially in the wake of the success of Wonder Woman, which was steered by Patty Jenkins. It’s unclear if Millennium will reconceive the project with a new director, stick with Singer, or keep this whole thing on the backburner for an extended period of time before the bad buzz dies down. Regardless, it’s somewhat heartening to see them no longer moving full-steam ahead with Singer at the helm.