Jill Soloway, creator of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning Amazon Prime series “Transparent,” is taking the reigns on “Red Sonja,” Deadline is reporting. Soloway will start from scratch on the controversy-embroiled project, taking over writing and directing responsibilities from Bryan Singer, who was rumored to have been fired from the project in March following allegations of sexual misconduct against the director. Soloway’s Topple Productions partner Andrea Sperling will also come on board as a producer.
“I can’t wait to bring Red Sonja’s epic world to life,” Soloway said. “Exploring this powerful mythology and evolving what it means to be a heroine is an artistic dream come true.”
The Millennium Films comic book adaptation is centered around the Marvel Comics super-heroine, who first appeared in a 1973 issue of “Conan the Barbarian.” Created by Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith, she is known for her signature red hair and skimpy bikini made of scale mail. It’s safe to assume Soloway, who popularized the term “the female gaze,” will make some alterations to the character’s bikini.
“Red Sonja” first appeared onscreen in 1985, when she was played by Brigitte Nelson opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger as High Lord Kalidor. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer. Millennium has been developing this new “Red Sonja” for over a decade. Previous iterations involved Robert Rodriguez directing with Rose McGowan to star; that project was shelved when McGowan sustained an injury.
Millennium eventually dropped Singer from the project following a bombshell report published in The Atlantic in January, in which four new men accused the director of sexual misconduct. The accusations ranged from molestation to rape, and each accuser said his encounter with Singer occurred in the 1990s when they were underage boys.
This is Soloway’s first deal since production wrapped on the final installment of “Transparent,” a two-hour “Musicale Finale” set to premiere sometime in the fall. Before “Transparent,” Soloway, who prefers gender neutral they/them pronouns, cut their teeth as a producer and writer on Alan Ball’s “Six Feet Under” and “The United States of Tara.” They also created the short-lived Amazon series “I Love Dick.” “Red Sonja” will be their second feature film, following 2013’s “Afternoon Delight,” starring Kathryn Hahn.