Jill Soloway is here to save the day.
The creator of the Emmy-winning Amazon series Transparent has been tapped to write and direct Red Sonja, a Millennium Films project that originally had director Bryan Singer attached, Deadline reports.
“I can’t wait to bring Red Sonja’s epic world to life,” says Soloway, 53, who identifies as nonbinary and prefers gender-neutral pronouns. “Exploring this powerful mythology and evolving what it means to be a heroine is an artistic dream come true.”
According to Deadline, Soloway “is coming in with a bold new take, and gives the film much better optics” for Millennium, which is making a concerted effort to be more inclusive in hiring filmmakers. Soloway’s Topple Productions partner Andrea Sperling is also joining the project as a producer.
Soloway, who also wrote and directed the 2013 film Afternoon Delight, will reportedly be the first nonbinary filmmaker to helm a major superhero movie.
Brigitte Nielsen famously starred in the 1985 movie Red Sonja opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. Robert Rodriguez unsuccessfully attempted to revive the franchise for Millennium in 2008 with Rose McGowan as the lead.
— Comicbook.com (@ComicBook) June 21, 2019
The supernatural swordswoman first appeared in Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comics in 1973 before spinning off into her own series in 1977. Deadline notes that with Singer at the helm “it would have been a challenge to find an actress to play the character who, in the comic mythology, is out to avenge her family, with sexual assault a part of that tapestry.”
Singer was dropped from the film earlier this year after more disturbing accusations of sexual misconduct and assault were lodged against the director in a bombshell report by The Atlantic. Millennium CEO Avi Lerner announced in January, however, that Singer would still direct the action flick, dismissing the accusations as “fake news.”
Singer released a statement dismissing the report as a “homophobic smear piece… conveniently timed to take advantage of” Bohemian Rhapsody’s success. The problematic director was also fired from Bohemian Rhapsody after reportedly clashing on set with Rami Malek, who starred as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
It was announced last year that Transparent would end with its fifth season after star Jeffrey Tambor, who was accused of sexual harassment by former assistant Van Barnes and co-star Trace Lysette, was fired from the series following an internal investigation.
“I am profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations against me,” Tambor said in a statement. “I am even more disappointed in Jill Soloway’s unfair characterization of me as someone who would ever cause harm to any of my fellow castmates.”
Tambor’s character, Maura, will die off-screen, and the upcoming two-hour finale movie, The Transparent Musicale Finale, will focus on the Pfefferman family’s grieving process.