A new live-action movie adaptation of Red Sonja, the comic book starring the chain-mail bikini-clad vengeful warrior known as a “She-Devil with a sword” is finally underway after thirty-seven years without an update in its story. The project has moved forward to principal photography.
Matilda Lutz, known for her roles in Revenge and Medici, will be starring in the lead role after Hannah John Kamen (from Ant-Man and the Wasp) was originally slated for the role but had to pull out of the project due to scheduling conflicts.
Other known members of the cast currently include Wallis Day (from Sex/Life and Batwoman) as Annisia, Robert Sheehan (from The Umbrella Academy and Misfits) as Draygan, Martyn Ford as General Karlak, Michael Bisping as Hawk, Katrina Durben as Sauvus, Manal El-Feitury as Ayala and Elize Matengu as Amarak.
Director of Rogue and Solomon Kane, M.J. Bassett will be directing the film and mentioned in a press release that they have been dreaming of creating a new Red Sonja movie for a long time. “I’ve wanted to make a Red Sonja movie since I was a teenager – she has been a powerful presence for me and a character that I have always wanted to bring to the screen with my own voice and vision.
Joey Soloway and Tasha Huo wrote the script. They also wrote Transparent and Netflix’s Tome Raider respectively. Worth mentioning, that this is a creative team that is helmed by women and non-binary people, an exciting aspect for a movie that is about a character that is usually oversexualized.
The movie is currently in production in Europe and will likely see a late 2023 or even 2024 release.
It is awesome to see more strong female protagonists coming out of Marvel, especially revisiting such an iconic female character.
The Story of Red Sonja
In the comics, Red Sonja first debuted in Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian #23 (1973). The canon story for her was introduced in The Savage Sword of Conan #78 (1982) in which she lives in a humble house in the Western Hyrkanian steppes with her family.
At age 21, a group of mercenaries invades their home, killing her family and burning down their home. Sonja tries to defend herself but isn’t strong enough to lift her brother’s sword, and is raped by the leader of the mercenary group. Crying out for revenge, her prayers are answered by the red goddess Scáthach who gives her incredible fighting skills, on the condition that she never lies with a man unless he defeats her in fair combat.
There’s no word yet about how closely the new Red Sonja movie will follow the original story.
Red Sonja hasn’t been seen on the big screen since the 1985 film by the same name directed by Richard Fleischer and based on the comic by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith, and partially inspired by Robert. E. Howard’s character ‘Red Sonja of Rogatino’. With a screenplay written by Clive Exton and George MacDonald Fraser, Brigitte Nielsen starred as the titular Red Sonja, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger as Kalidor (the guardian of the talisman), Sandahl Bergman as the villainous Queen Gedren and other names like Paul L. Smith as Falkon, Ernie Reyes Jr. as Prince Tarn, Ronald Lacey as Ikol, Pat Roach as Brytag, Terry Richards as Djart, Janet Agren as Varna, and Donna Osterbuhr as Kendra, the High Priestess.
Are you excited to see Marvel working on this title? What do you think of the casting of Matilda Lutz as the lead?