To say the fantasy realm is enjoying massive success would be a gross understatement. Series like Game of Thrones and The Shannara Chronicles, as well as films like The Hobbit have brought in considerable audiences, continually proving the genre’s appeal. With scores of new films like Stephen King’s The Dark Tower as well as a series reboot of Xena: Warrior Princess on the horizon, others in the industry are looking to cash in on the sword and sorcery appeal.
And one of the big names in literary and Hollywood fantasy, Robert E. Howard has returned to prominence recently. Not long ago, writer/producer Chris Morgan (Fast & Furious) scripted a sequel of sorts to the 1984 adventure Conan the Destroyer, tentatively titled Conan the Conqueror – which has Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role. It now looks like Conan’s fiery cohort Red Sonja may also make her triumphant return, albeit on the small screen.
Bleeding Cool reports that Bryan Singer, director of X-Men: Apocalypse and the upcoming 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, has been putting together a R-rated Red Sonja cable (or possibly streaming) series. Singer is rumored to be directing and producing the show, alongside Stephen L’Heureux of Solipsist Films, and the project is reportedly being funded by TWC/Dimension. Luke Lieberman – owner of the property – would likely executive produce along with Jason Taylor of Bad Hat Harry (Singer’s production company).
Since her solo outing in 1985, Red Sonja seems to have been on a lot of people’s backburners, despite the box office flop starring Brigitte Nielsen. Filmmakers from Robert Le Han to Simon West to Robert Rodriguez have, at times, tried to reboot Red Sonja to no avail. The character originally appeared in Howard’s 1934 story, 'The Shadow of the Vulture,' but didn’t gain her pop-culture cachet until Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith introduced her in their Conan the Barbarian comic in 1975. The character lost some credence after the feature film failed to find its audience, but the Nielsen adventure epic has garnered a cult following.
Despite the attempts at bringing her to the big screen in the last few years, rumors of a Howard-based cinematic universe have surfaced recently, making Singer’s Red Sonja very possible indeed. In a time when superheroes and swordplay are both seeing unprecedented popularity, Red Sonja would be an impressive title to restart – especially with the relatively thin female offerings in the superhero/warrior realm. If the rumors are true, an R-rated Red Sonja has a real chance of capturing the attention of fans drawn to harder fare like Vikings and Game of Thrones, while also picking up Xena devotees looking for another heroine to cheer on.
At this point, unfortunately, the future of a Howard cinematic universe is uncertain at best, and Singer’s Red Sonja series is only speculation. Given the lack of momentum in getting prior efforts off the ground, it’s difficult to predict how things will pan out for the She-Devil with a Sword. Hopefully, given the timing and the general public’s love of fantasy, Red Sonja will have her chance to tear up the small screen on HBO or Netflix sooner rather than later.
We’ll keep you informed of any further Red Sonja developments.
Source: Bleeding Cool