11:39am PT by Tatiana Siegel, Borys Kit
Bryan Singer in Talks to Direct 'Red Sonja' for Millennium (Exclusive)
Bryan Singer is in negotiations to direct Millennium's Red Sonja.
The X-Men: Apocalypse helmer, who has battled bad PR, lawsuits and continued scrutiny in the post-#MeToo era — none of which seems to have stuck — would take the reins on a big-screen adaptation of the 1970s sword-and-sorcery Conan the Barbarian comic book spinoff. Ashley Miller, who wrote X-Men: First Class (which Singer produced), is writing the screenplay.
Millennium is financing and producing the new version of Red Sonja and is hoping to start a franchise and capture the audience that turned out for Warner Bros.' Wonder Woman. Millennium’s Avi Lerner and Joe Gatta are producing alongside Cinelou’s Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon.
A Red Sonya movie has been in the works at Millennium for over a decade, and Singer boarding the project would put it back on the fast-track. In 2008, Robert Rodriguez teamed with his then-girlfriend Rose McGowan for the project, making a big splashy announcement at Comic-Con that year. But they subsequently fell off the project and it has languished in deep development, with writers coming and going ever since. The property previously spawned a 1985 movie starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sources say Millennium will pay Singer top dollar for the assignment, which is seen as a step toward rehabilitating the director's image. He was fired by Fox after repeatedly not showing up for work on the set of its Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, among other work-related offenses. In December, Singer was sued by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who accused the filmmaker of raping him when he was a 17-year-old boy in 2003. It wasn't the first time that Singer had faced such an accusation.
Singer is set to receive full directing credit, and the movie is now generating strong buzz inside and outside the studio. While audiences and critics will be the jury on Bohemian Rhapsody when it opens Nov. 2, Millennium is willing to take a chance on Singer given that "none of the allegations seem to have merit," says an insider.
Singer was dropped by his agency, WME, earlier this year and has been negotiating the Red Sonja deal with the help of his attorney David Feldman.
Millennium could not be reached for comment.