Bryan Singer's Red Sonja reboot probably won't happen after backlash

Justin Harp
Photo credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct allegations that some readers may find upsetting.

Update: The backlash to Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer following sexual misconduct allegations may have killed his nex major movie project.

After new allegations arose last month, the producers of his Red Sonja comic book reboot insisted that it "continue[d] to be in development", but now that doesn't seem to be the case.

A spokesperson for studio Millennium Films told Deadline that Red Sonja is "not on the slate at the moment and is not for sale" for international distributors. That's likely a sign that the film has been shelved.

Producer Avi Lerner - who last month referred to the Singer controversy as "agenda-driven fake news" - has also backed away from that stance by saying his accusers "should be taken very, very seriously".

Original: Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer will keep his next job rebooting Red Sonja even as the backlash continues over new sexual misconduct allegations.

Singer faced fresh allegations of historic sexual misconduct this week from four men, who spoke out in an article published by The Atlantic. The filmmaker has denied those allegations.

Some have called for Singer to be replaced in Expendables and Rambo producer Avi Lerner's live-action reboot of the Marvel Comics sword-and-sandal hero, but Lerner has now insisted that will not be happening in a strongly-worded statement to Entertainment Weekly.

Photo credit: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

The producer said: "I continue to be in development for Red Sonja and Bryan Singer continues to be attached. The over $800 million Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed, making it the highest-grossing drama in film history, is a testament to his remarkable vision and acumen.

"I know the difference between agenda-driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America, people are innocent until proven guilty.”

Nearly at the same time as Lerner confirmed Singer's Red Sonja job was safe, LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD condemned the director by announcing that it would remove Bohemian Rhapsody from contention for its Media Awards.

GLAAD said in a statement: "This week's story in The Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded.

"Singer's response to The Atlantic story wrongfully used 'homophobia' to deflect from sexual assault allegations and GLAAD urges the media and the industry at large to not gloss over the fact that survivors of sexual assault should be put first."

Photo credit: VCG - Getty Images

Singer has been accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct in the past and is being sued for allegedly raping a 17-year-old boy in 2003, according to legal documents. He denies all claims.

In the aftermath of Bohemian Rhapsody receiving five Academy Award nominations earlier this week, the film's star Rami Malek said he "was not aware" of allegations against Singer when he signed up to play Freddie Mercury.

Singer was fired from the Queen biopic after he failed to return to set from a Thanksgiving break, but received the directing credit on Bohemian Rhapsody instead of Dexter Fletcher, who took over and finished the movie.

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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