Matilda Lutz has been super excited to play Red Sonja and has been trying her best to keep the news secret. That is until the casting was officially announced, and she took to Instagram almost immediately with, “This has been a hard secret to keep. I’m so beyond grateful, I’ve cried from joy a bunch of times these past months, what I get to do in this lifetime is just incredible. Thank you for this crazy journey.”
A week ago, Lutz posted a behind-the-scenes image from the set of the movie, where she can be seen with dark hair and holding a sword in a gown. The caption for the image reads, “Making sense of my past, bringing peace to the present, creating a vision for the future. GRATITUDE. I am infinitely thankful @emjaybassett for such an incredible journey. If it’s a dream don’t wake me up. Even when it’s raining and freezing.”
She wasn’t alone in posting some set images, as director M.J. Bassett also took to Instagram to share their excitement about finally seeing the movie start to come to life. “Celebrating the first morning on a new set. Always exciting to see how all the planning and meetings finally come together into a physical space for the actors and camera. Sometimes it’s exactly what you expect, sometimes it’s quite a surprise.”
Although these images were more secretive, they at least gave us an idea of what was happening while they were filming at the Bulgarian Nu Boyana Studio. More filming is scheduled to take place at the Greek Nu Boyana Studio for later this month as well, so they aren’t quite done filming just yet.
Millennium Media has finally broken the mysterious spell of what Matilda Lutz looks like as the titular Red Sonja, and she looks like the character has stepped right out of the Dynamite Entertainment comic books pages. With her blood-red hair, and sword she looks like a warrior. Unfortunately, we can only really see her shoulder and forearm in the first look image, so we can’t see if her armour is as scant as it is in the comics, but we doubt they would stray too far from the source material.
Although Matilda looks amazing in the role of Red Sonja, I can’t help but think that she looks a little too soft for the character. When I think of Red Sonja, I see chiselled facial features and an anger that would scare off a wild animal or weak-willed man with a glance. While I can’t deny that Matilda is beautiful, I don’t see the warrior as much as I would like to. That being said, from an image where we see half her face and a little bit of her upper body, I may not be getting the bigger picture. Let’s hope that once more images emerge from the set that we get a better perspective.
Red Sonja is a comic book character based around a swashbuckler known as Red Sonya of Rogatino who is featured in Robert E. Howard’s short story The Shadow of the Vulture which was published in 1934. She debuted in the 23rd issue of Conan the Barbarian in 1973 and was later depicted in what would become her signature metal bikini. After the character headlined several issues of Marvel Feature she was finally given her own title comic in 1975. In 1985 the comics were given a film adaptation with Brigitte Nielson playing the titular character alongside Arnold Schwarzeneggar who played High Lord Kalidor (though he was originally supposed to be Conan the Barbarian).
Dynamite Comics decided to pick the character up again in 2005 and would proceed to kill her off and revive her a couple of times over the years, with different writers and artists trying their hand at her story.
In 2017, it was announced that the character was going to be adapted to film once again, but production of the film didn’t start until August of 2022, with the Italian actress Matilda Lutz portraying the sword and sorcery heroine.
What Will Happen in the New Film?
Throughout her many renditions and alternate selves, Red Sonja has always found herself on the path of revenge. After her family is massacred by bandits and she is left as the sole survivor of the attack, she goes on a quest to avenge them after being blessed with powers by the goddess Scathach (though the original way she received her powers was changed to be less triggering for certain readers and to give the character more choice as she honed her skills). On her journey she also finds herself getting rid of the evil that has taken over her home kingdom.
Given that this film will be a lot of people’s first introduction to the red-headed warrior, there’s no reason for it not to follow along the same lines as her origin story.
Along with Matilda Lutz, the film will also include Robert Sheehan (The Umbrella Academy) who will play the role of Draygan, Wallis Day (Sex/Life) who will play Red Sonja’s wicked half-sister Annisia, Eliza Matengu (who will be playing the role of Amarak), Manal El Feitury (who will be playing Ayala), Michael Bisping (playing Hawk), Martyn Ford (General Karlak) and Katrina Durden (Saevus).
The script is being written by Joey Soloway (who wrote, produced and directed Transparent) and Tasha Huo (who is writing Netflix’s upcoming animated Tomb Raider series) and it will be produced by Courtney Solomon (Cake, After), Joe Gatta (Out of the Furnace, Conan the Barbarian), Mark Canton (300, Power), Red Sonja LCC’s Luke Liberman and Millennium Media’s Jeffrey Greenstein, Yariv Lerner, Les Weldon and Jonathon Yunger.
The Executive Producers on this project are Dorthy Canton, Campbell Grobman Films’ Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell, Dynamite Entertainment’s Nick Barrucci, Eclectic Picture’s Heidi Jo Markel, Topple’s Soloway and Millennium Media’s Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, Trevor Short and Tanner Mobley.
What are your thoughts on the first image of Matilda Lutz as Red Sonja?