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'Red Sonja' Back On With Simon West Directing; Amber Heard Tipped As Favorite For The Lead

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 10, 2011 at 7:27AM

There's Also Going To Be A 'Conan 2'One project that fell apart, breaking geek hearts in the process, was Robert Rodriguez's "Red Sonja." With Rose McGowan in the lead, the project made it through concept art phases but never went beyond, and eventually both Rodriguez and McGowan moved on to other things. But the project is still alive and kicking, and in a recent conversation with Empire, producer Avi Lerner dropped some news on who will be directing the film and who he'd like to step into the red-haired role.
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There's Also Going To Be A 'Conan 2'



One project that fell apart, breaking geek hearts in the process, was Robert Rodriguez's "Red Sonja." With Rose McGowan in the lead, the project made it through concept art phases but never went beyond, and eventually both Rodriguez and McGowan moved on to other things. But the project is still alive and kicking, and in a recent conversation with Empire, producer Avi Lerner dropped some news on who will be directing the film and who he'd like to step into the red-haired role.

"We will definitely shoot 'Red Sonja' in between 'Conan' and 'Conan 2.' We already chose the director: an English guy called Simon West," Lerner said. The terrifying prospect of a 'Conan' sequel aside, the choice of Simon West doesn't inspire much confidence. While everyone in his corner will point to "Con Air," that was over a decade ago and since then he's proven himself to be little more than a very average action director with no visual flair at all -- something you think a character like Red Sonja would need. The selection is certainly a step decidedly down from Rodriguez, who can both work cheap and still blitz your eyeballs, but no matter, Lerner's aspirations for the lead role are a bit more promising.

"We're talking to a few girls for the role of Sonja," he said, "but we just finished a movie called 'Drive Angry' with Amber Heard, and I want to see her. She's my favourite for the role." Now that's better. Heard is quickly making a name for herself in the genre world and this seems like a good next step. She's more than just a pretty face -- she can act too -- and yes, she has all the other, uh "requirements" for the part. But before the drooling begins, it should be noted, it's not locked yet.

"Amber is the new 'Red Sonja'... but she doesn't know it yet!" said Lerner. "When you write it she'll get the shock of her life! She'll call me and say 'How dare you talk to Empire before you talk to me?!'" Frankly, by the end of the afternoon we're sure phone calls will start being placed. So for now, it looks like "Red Sonja" is alive and kicking and yeah, we have mixed feelings about how it's shaping up. No word yet on what this means for the Nic Cage thriller, "The Medallion," that West signed on to direct last month, but it's also set up at Lerner's Millenium Films. Maybe West just switched over to something more interesting?

This article is related to: Films, Actresses, Simon West, Super Hero Films, Amber Heard, Red Sonja


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