The Red Sonja movie is getting a major upgrade. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jill Soloway, who’s best known for creating Transparent, will write and direct the film. That alone is worthy of major celebration, since Soloway has emerged as one of the most singular voices in Hollywood. But what makes this announcement even more notable is that she is replacing Bryan Singer, who was tapped to helm the film before Soloway came on board.
Singer has been accused of raping multiple men when they were underage, and his continued involvement in the film raised a lot of eyebrows in Hollywood and beyond. After The Atlantic published a piece detailing Singer’s behavior, Red Sonja’s producer Avi Lerner defended the director against “agenda driven fake news.” While his comments received major backlash, Lerner seemed unwilling to budge, though the movie was put on hold. Until now.
Soloway is indeed an inspired choice for the long-gestating film, which will be based on the eponymous Marvel character, who’s been called a “She-Devil with a sword.” (Think Wonder Woman with a bit more edge.) In recent iterations of the character, Sonja has been deeply sexualized, so look for Soloway—who has a knack for writing three-dimensional, fully formed female characters—to offer a more empowered version of the battle-tested warrior. Her previous big-screen effort, the small-scale indie comedy Afternoon Delight, was much more in the mold of Transparent than anything from the world of Marvel. It will be exciting to see what she can do with this kind of scale and budget.
Soloway seems pretty excited, too. “I can’t wait to bring Red Sonja’s epic world to life,” she said in a statement to Deadline. “Exploring this powerful mythology and evolving what it means to be a heroine is an artistic dream come true.”