The long gestating Red Sonja movie from production company Millennium once again appears to be moving forward with director Joey Soloway and Ant-Man and the Wasp actress Hannah John-Kamen.
The director and actress announcement were made through The Hollywood Reporter, where they also revealed that the writing team for the movie has also changed. Soloway will be co-writing with Tasha Huo.
The film previously was put on hold after Millennium Films canned then director Bryan Singer following sexual misconduct allegations against him. When Singer was initially announced as the director it was also revealed that X-Men: First Class writer Ashley Miller was penning the film. It appears she’s no longer attached anymore.
Soloway commented on John-Kamen’s talents, “Hannah is a very talented actress who we’ve been following for years and she IS Red Sonja.”
Soloway added, “Her range, sensibilities and strength are all qualities we have been looking for and we couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey together.”
Aside from starring in Ant-Man and the Wasp as the villain Ghost, John-Kamen will star as Jill Valentine in the upcoming Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City film. She also starred as Wilhelmina ‘Helm’ Watson in Brave New World, played The Stranger in The Stranger, and played Dutch in Killjoys.
She also lent her voice to Naia in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and starred in Ready Player One as F’Nale Zandor and Sophie in the 2018 Tomb Raider film.
Soloway had previously discussed Red Sonja at the European Film Market earlier this year where the director stated, “I have loved Red Sonja forever and I feel so honored to help shepherd her story and start this cinematic journey. There could not be a greater moment in our world for Red Sonja’s ways of wielding power and her connection with nature and our planet.”
The director added, “She is an ancient heroine with an epic calling, and translating that to the screen is a dream come true for me as a filmmaker. I can’t wait to collaborate with Tasha on this vision.”
Soloway identifies as non-binary and gender non-conforming. The director’s credits include the TV series Transparent. Soloway was a consulting producer on a number of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy as well as the United States of Tara and How to Make It in America.
Red Sonja is a comic book character created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor Smith for Marvel Comics back in 1973.
The character was based on Robert E. Howard’s Red Sonya from his short story “The Shadow of the Vulture.” Her character was also influenced by Howard’s Dark Agnes de Chastilon.
The character operates within Howard’s Hyborian Age alongside Conan the Barbarian. In her original comic book origin, Red Sonja is a rape victim who is granted powerful abilities by the red goddess Scáthach.
She is able to maintain her powers if she ensures that she never lies with a man unless he has defeated her in fair combat.
Her origin would be retconned by writer Gail Simone for Dynamite Comics. In this most recent version, Sonja’s family is killed, but she survives and lures the murderers into the woods where she dispatches them.
She is not raped nor seriously injured. The red goddess also doesn’t make an appearance. Her combat prowess comes from her experiences as a gladiator.
The character is no stranger to the big screen. In 1985 director Richard Fleischer brought Red Sonja to the big screen.
The film starred Brigitte Nielsen as Red Sonja with Arnold Schwarzenegger as her ally Kalidor. The film sees Sonja seek revenge against the villainous Queen Gedren, who had Sonja’s parents murdered and Sonja raped after Sonja rejected her sexual advances.
What do you make of this casting and director announcement?