Bryan Singer Somehow Continues to Have a Career, Might Direct ‘Red Sonja’ Next
Despite numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct dating back to the ’90s, Bryan Singer still — somehow — has a career. Seemingly undeterred by decades of highly-publicized accusations against the X-Men franchise filmmaker, studios apparently remain eager to partner with Singer, who is reportedly in talks to helm the long-gestating adaptation of Red Sonja — because when you want to make a film about an empowering female warrior in the #MeToo era, Bryan Singer, of all people, is your guy.
In what is undoubtedly the most baffling development since Louis C.K. staged a surprise comeback at the Comedy Cellar a couple of weeks ago (with a set that included a joke about, I s—t you not, rape whistles), The Hollywood Reporter brings us this gem: Bryan Singer, a filmmaker who has been accused by multiple men of sexual harassment and abuse over the last few decades, is in talks to direct an adaptation of the comic book series Red Sonja for Millennium.
Based on the Conan the Barbarian spinoff, Red Sonja centers on a young woman who watches as a group of mercenaries murders her entire family and burns down her home. After trying and failing to defend herself, Sonja is brutally raped by the leader of the group. Hearing her desperate plea to exact revenge, the red goddess visits Sonja and transforms her into an incredibly powerful warrior — but there’s a catch: Sonja can never have sex with a man or she will lose her gifts.
As you can see, the plot for Red Sonja isn’t exactly the sort of story you want to see told from the perspective of a man who stands accused of sexual misconduct in cases dating as far back as 1997, and as recently as December of 2017 when Cesar Sanchez-Guzman filed a complaint in which he claimed that Singer sexually assaulted him in 2003 — when Sanchez-Guzman was 17 years old. For his part, Singer has denied every allegation and has never been convicted on a sexual assault charge.
A 2014 Buzzfeed story, published a week after lawsuits were filed against Singer in Hawaii for sexually assaulting minors, detailed additional allegations against the director’s Digital Entertainment Network co-founders — including Marc Collins-Rector, a registered sex offender convicted of committing offenses with a minor. Multiple allegations against Singer name Collins-Rector, who was known for hosting wild parties at his mansion, where underage boys were often said to be fixtures.
In one suit against the DEN co-founders, filed in 2000 by Michael Egan (whose 2014 case against Singer was later dismissed), X-Men star Alexander Burton, and Mark Ryan, the claimants were awarded a multimillion-dollar default judgment when Collins-Rector failed to respond.
After Sanchez-Guzman filed his suit against Singer last year, the filmmaker exited Bohemian Rhapsody mid-production. Although Singer claimed he parted ways with the Queen biopic to care for an ailing relative, reports quickly emerged that painted a much different picture: Singer was behaving unprofessionally, was frequently absent from set, and had been clashing with star Rami Malek. Some reports speculated that Singer was emotionally struggling in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual assault against powerful men in Hollywood ranging from Harvey Weinstein to Singer’s friend and occasional collaborator Kevin Spacey.
Despite being fired from Bohemian Rhapsody and replaced by Dexter Fletcher, Bryan Singer remains the sole credited director on the Queen biopic, which is — per THR’s latest report — a potential awards season contender. The report also notes that Singer, who vanished from social media (along with several reports on his past misconduct), was still intimately involved in production on Bohemian Rhapsody — he oversaw the final editing process.
Perhaps the only real repercussion Singer has faced is having his name removed from the TV series Legion and The Gifted, as well as the USC School of Cinematic Arts Division of Cinema & Media Studies. In November of 2017, USC students petitioned to have Singer’s name removed from the School of Cinematic Arts. Then, in December, USC released a statement saying that Singer himself had requested that the school suspend using his name “until the allegations against him are resolved.”
As for those accusations, Millennium — the studio behind Red Sonja — feels that “none of the allegations seem to have merit,” according to one insider who spoke with THR. Well, if they say so.
At this rate, I fully expect for Harvey Weinstein to announce the launch of a new film distribution company in the next month.