Plans are afoot to bring sword-and-sorcery heroine Red Sonja back to the big screen for the first time in over 30 years.
Deadline report that rights-holders Millennium Media is “fast-tracking” the project in the hopes of launching a new franchise.
Producer Avi Lerner says, “We have been waiting for the right time for this remake, and with the success of ‘Wonder Woman,’ the audience has spoken. They want female heroes.”
Previously brought to film by director Richard Fleischer in 1985, with Brigitte Nielsen in the title role and Arnold Schwarzenegger co-starring, Red Sonja is a spin-off character of Robert E Howard’s fantasy adventure series ‘Conan.’
However, while she takes her name from a Howard character, the heroine as we know her was really introduced in Marvel’s ‘Conan’ comics series in the 1970s, where she proved popular enough to land a series of her own.
Though the movie isn’t generally held in the highest regard (Schwarzenegger has declared it the worst of his career), Red Sonja has remained a popular comic book character, still appearing in an ongoing series from Dynamite Entertainment.
However, the character has appeared in live action only once since the 1985 film, portrayed by Angelica Bridges in an episode of 1990s TV series ‘Conan.’
Famously, Rose McGowan came close to taking the role in a 2010 film to be produced by Robert Rodriguez, for which a number of teaser photos were shot and widely distributed online, but the project never came to fruition.
Since then, Millennium and Avi Lerner have had a ‘Red Sonja’ reboot on the back-burner for some time. Originally they had planned to make a ‘Red Sonja’ movie as a follow-up to 2011’s ‘Conan the Barbarian’ reboot starring Jason Momoa, but the box office failure of that film resulted in a change of plans. (Interestingly, their choice for the role at the time was Amber Heard – who has subsequently joined Momoa in the upcoming ‘Justice League’ and ‘Aquaman,’ replete with a red wig.)
There had also been talk of a ‘Red Sonja’ TV series to be produced by Bryan Singer, but this too does not seem to have gotten off the ground.
The character’s only other screen appearance to date was in 2016’s direct-to-DVD animation ‘Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues.’