Another day, yet another remake/re-imagining/adaptation/comic book character is waved at a tiring film going public like an angry belligerent fist. This time the property in question is the much loved and maligned in equal measure, Marvel comics character Red Sonja.
Created in the 70′s by Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith as a supporting character for Conan, translated a decade later into a cult film starring Brigitte Nielsen, the fierce female barbarian was first proposed for a reboot by Robert Rodriguez as a vehicle for then partner Rose McGowan three years ago. The development on that film got so far as concept images being promoted at the 2008 Comic Con…
… but the film never happened after Rodriguez & McGowan broke up (neither did their attempt to remake Barbarella) and the filming rights have since been acquired by Nu Image who, having recently completed the post-modern, 3D, OTT fest, Drive Angry, have now secured a director for the Marvel comic character and are ready to begin pre-production.
Nu Image have given production duties to Avi Lerner who also produced the forthcoming Conan the Barbarian 3D –which, obviously, was based on Sonja’s original progenitor- and he has already put together a big name creative team. He said the following in an interview with Empire Magazine recently;
“We will definitely shoot Red Sonja in between Conan and Conan 2. We already chose the director: an English guy called Simon West.
We’re talking to a few girls for the role of Sonja but we just finished a movie called Drive Angry with Amber Heard, and I want to see her. She’s my favourite for the role.
Amber is the new ‘Red Sonja’… but she doesn’t know it yet!”
That “English Guy” has recently been in the UK promoting his action flick, The Mechanic, starring the always easily packaged Jason Statham. He also, as we reported last month, announced to journalists that was planning a sequel to his immensely successful debut movie, Con Air. It looks, therefore, to be a busy year for West whom, if he thinks he will have a hard time equalling the success of the film will have an even harder time emulating the camp chic of the original Sonja.
His hardest job will be finding a replacement for the unique charismatic qualities of Bridgette Nielson whose first title role has since become iconic, and if Lerner gets his way and Heard is cast, he would be best advised to direct a very different film.
Although the talent associated with the project at this stage ensures that, technically, the new Sonia will be a far superior film than the 80′s effort, the chances of it acquiring the same cult iconography are relatively few.
Though we must say we do like Amber Heard and her desire to please cult fans by being both a regular and fearless horror scream queen and in the wider genre world.