Millennium Films may have its Red Sonja film on hold for the time being. However, it appears the studio has finally dropped controversial director Bryan Singer from the project.
The report comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter as part of its coverage of the scandal involving Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara. In its report, the outlet cites a text from Brett Ratner, who was accused of inappropriate conduct last year, as he advised a young British actress to “bother” Avi Lerner, the 71-year-old founder and CEO of Millennium Films, in order to get roles. While worth a read to truly comprehend why it’s such a massive scandal, one of the biggest reveals came when the outlet stated Singer was reportedly off Millennium Films’ Red Sonja film following massive backlash.
While his involvement in the Tsujihara/Ratner scandal is important, it’s one of many contentious topics surrounding Lerner’s name, as he’s repeatedly come to the defense of Singer — despite all of the allegations that continue to surface against him. Following the latest batch of allegations, Lerner released a statement in support of Singer, calling the backlash online “agenda driven,” adding that he knew the difference between “fake news and reality, and [that he was] very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.”
However, while it appears Lerner was more than willing to fight for Singer to stay on the project, no domestic distributor wanted to touch the film so long as he remained on board to direct. With no distributor, Lerner had no choice but to reportedly cut Singer loose from directing duties.
“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.”
It remains to be seen whether the project will move forward at this point. As it stands, it’s still on hold, and with Singer out, there’s currently no director attached — and it’s safe to presume it’ll be a hard sell following Lerner’s support of Singer on the project.
by Nicole Sobon