Bryan Singer — a director who was recently fired from the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody for not showing up to work (among other things) — is back at it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer is closing in on a deal with Millennium Films to direct an adaptation of Red Sonja.
There are plenty of problems with this. Including, but not limited to the fact that Singer has been credibly accused of raping Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who was a 17-year-old boy at the time of the incident in 2003. He’s the latest in a long line of men who, after being outed as part of the #MeToo movement, are trying to make a comeback. Louis CK is doing secret comedy shows. Matt Lauer is saying that he’ll be back on the air soon. Charlie Rose is shopping a docuseries where he interviews the men who have been taken down by the movement. It’s all garbage these days.
Here’s my thing about redemption: I’m all for it. If you work hard, atone for your transgressions, and make amends with those you’ve hurt, you deserve an opportunity to earn a living and contribute to society. But in my mind, you don’t get to just jump back to the head of the line and resume your place at the top. Some of these dudes have done things that should put them in jail. This kind of redemption should be hard, the bulk of it should be done well out of the public spotlight, and it shouldn’t involve sources saying that “Millennium will pay Singer top dollar for the assignment.”
Shame on you, Millenium.
If you’re hellbent on making a Red Sonja movie — which is an idea that’s been around since 2008 when Robert Rodriguez was going to make it with Rose McGowan — then why not make it with an up-and-coming female filmmaker who can put her stamp on the genre? The world isn’t lacking any of those — without any research, my jumbled brain can come up with several strong candidates: The Bad Batch’s Ana Lily Amirpour, Revenge director Coralie Fargeat, The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano, Nancy director Christina Choe, Never Goin’ Back filmmaker Augustine Frizzell, Raw director Julia Ducournau, and Prevenge director Alice Lowe. It’s unclear as to whether any of these talented filmmakers would be interested in adapting Red Sonja — which already smells like a Wonder Woman knock-off — but if one of them is into the idea, that’s better than Bryan Singer.
The lesser of my problems with Bryan Singer being paid top-dollar to helm a low-rent remake of a campy 80s sci-fi sexventure is that it’s been a long time since Bryan Singer has shown himself to be a competent, or better yet, interesting filmmaker. His last two X-Men movies (Apocalypse and Days of Future Past) were uninspired, at best. Jack the Giant Slayer was a massive dud with critics and audiences. In fact, are we sure that Bryan Singer was ever a good director? Valkerie is fine, but not particularly memorable. And it’s clear at this point that The Usual Suspects was great because of a wicked script from Christopher McQuarrie (who has gone on to be quite a filmmaker on his own). What’s left? Superman Returns and a few more sloppy X-Men movies?
Bryan Singer is a bad person and a bad filmmaker. We don’t need to experience his vision for a Red Sonja movie.