Red Sonja | New film is a ‘completely different’ story says star

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The ‘very male-gazed orientation’ of the 1980s version of Red Sonja will be a thing of the past in the remake, says Matilda Lutz.

Fantasy adventure Red Sonja emerged in 1985, three years after 1982’s Conan The Barbarian and around the time of the unexpectedly daft Conan The Destroyer. Red Sonja, directed by Destroyer’s Richard Fleischer, cashed in on that series’ popularity and also featured its star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, alongside 80s icon Brigitte Nielsen who starred as the titular female warrior.

There has been talk of a reboot of the movie for years, but it seems to be a project that has taken forever to bring to the screen – and we’re not just talking about the hold-ups caused by strikes and pandemics. For well over a decade, various attempts have been made to get the film up and running, with creative talent such as Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Simon West, Megan Fox and Amber Heard all attached at various points in time.

Back in 2022, the project suffered yet another blow as it lost its attached star and director, when Hannah John Kamen and Joey Soloway both stepped away from the project. Revenge's Matilda Lutz was then drafted into the title role while Solomon Kane's MJ Basset came in to direct.

With the film due to release this year, it looks like we’ll actually get to see Red Sonja, although we still don’t have any release details. Lutz has offered a brief take on the project though, telling CBR:

“So, what I can tell about Red Sonja, is that the first ones and the comics were [made] with a very male-gazed orientation .This is a completely different story, and it’s very women-empowered , which I loved about the script.”

Given that the writer behind the film, Tasha Huo, has also worked on Netflix’s upcoming animated Tomb Raider show, we’d expect this project to take on a much more feminist stance. After all, a lot has changed since the 1980s in terms of female representation – not to mention the 1930s, which is when Conan author Robert E Howard first introduced the character of Red Sonya of Rogatino in his short story, The Shadow Of The Vulture. Marvel Comics then transposed the character from her 16th century roots – in which she wielded a gun – to Conan’s Hyborian Age.

We’re keen to see what Red Sonja looks like when it finally emerges at some point in 2024, courtesy of Millennium Films. We’ll bring you release details when we hear them.

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