In the wake of The Atlantic’s blockbuster investigation into decades of sexual misconduct allegations against Bryan Singer, Millennium Films initially defended keeping the director on an upcoming project. (Singer has denied the allegations.) Now, not only has the film been shelved, but it also no longer has a director.
The revelation that Singer had been removed from Red Sonja came in the midst of an extensive report from the Hollywood Reporter on the Hollywood sex scandal involving a number of powerful Hollywood names including actress Charlotte Kirk, who reportedly had an affair with Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara and pushed him to get her movie roles. The article also loops in producer Brett Ratner, Hellboy director Neil Marshall—who almost missed shooting Hellboy because he was spending time with Kirk—and Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner.
The report alleges that Lerner pushed for Kirk to be cast in Hellboy, a demand that producers ultimately didn’t go with. But buried within the report, in order to give readers context about who Lerner is, is a new update on Millennium Films’ Red Sonja movie.
Lerner made news recently when he hired Bryan Singer to direct a reboot of Red Sonja. After Singer was accused in an Atlantic magazine article of sexually assaulting underaged boys, Lerner dismissed the story as “agenda-driven fake news,” then walked the statement back. Eventually, he dropped Singer from the project because he was unable to secure a domestic distributor.
Although Millennium Films previously confirmed that it was putting Red Sonja on hold, this is the first time that we’re learning that it got rid of Singer, who had signed on to direct the project for $10 million. Critics took issue with Singer’s hiring, which was first announced last September, because of years of alleged sexual misconduct allegations, which had been something of an open secret in parts of Hollywood. They were also concerned with how Singer would handle a Red Sonja adaptation because the main character is a sexual assault survivor.
Singer has also gained a reputation for being unprofessional on set; he was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody because of it. It appears he’s finally enough of a liability that other entities and distributors will no longer touch a project he’s attached to.
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