After a new batch of sexual misconduct allegations against director Bryan Singer surfaced late last month, the filmmaker's would-be next project has been put on hold.
That's the word from Deadline, which reports that Millennium Films has pulled the film "Red Sonja" from its lineup.
"The project is not on the slate at the moment and is not for sale at the EFM [European Film Market] in Berlin," a spokesperson for the studio told Deadline in a statement.
According to the trade, Singer "has not been formally removed" from the film, though a planned shoot in Bulgaria later this year has been scrapped, all but killing the project. The film had not yet been cast.
Millennium had come under fire in recent weeks for keeping Singer on board "Red Sonja," even after The Atlantic published a report detailing claims from four men that the director engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with them when they were underage. One man claimed that Singer fondled his genitals without consent on the set of "Apt Pupil," when the man was only 13 years old.
The director has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, and has never been charged with or found guilty of a crime. He called the Atlantic story a "homophobic smear piece," timed to the awards season success of "Bohemian Rhapsody" (a film from which he was famously fired).
Millennium initially stood by Singer, with studio head Avi Lerner saying at the time, “I know the difference between agenda driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.” Lerner later walked back those remarks somewhat, saying in an interview over the weekend, "We take these accusations in all seriousness and we looked into them, but at the moment, from what we gather, they are completely baseless."
"Red Sonja" was to have been based on the comic book character of the same name, who Deadline reports is "a sword-wielding heroine with a dark backstory including her sexual assault." A 1985 "Red Sonja" film featured stars Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
[via: Deadline, Variety]