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

by Kevin Jagernauth
February 10, 2011 7:27 AM
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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?

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  • airick edwards | September 7, 2011 11:47 AMReply

    Rose Arianna McGowan will be the only Red Sonja in my heart. Amber never gonna be Heard is trash. Rose is the the apidamy of sex and glamour and sexy. they will never get the audiences for red sonja if they get amber heard.

  • carrie | February 11, 2011 12:16 AMReply

    i see a future mess

  • Kevin Jagernauth | February 10, 2011 11:43 AMReply

    A pilot doesn't mean a series. A lot of show get pilots and never get much further than that.

  • Margaret | February 10, 2011 11:39 AMReply

    Seeing as Heard just signed on for the t.v. show 'Playboy':

    NBC's 'Playboy' Pilot Casts Two Bunnies
    By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Friday February 4, 2011 @ 1:04pm PST
    Tags: Alan Taylor Playboy, Amber Heard, Naturi Naughton, Playboy Pilot, Playboy Pilot Casting, TV, TV Casting, TV Pilots

    Amber Heard (Zombieland) and Naturi Naughton (Fame) are set as leads in the NBC drama pilot Playboy. The project, from 20th TV/Imagine TV, is set at the Playboy Club in Chicago in 1963. CAA-repped Heard, who had been in talks for the project, will play Maureen, a new hire at the club, originally an orphan from Fort Wayne, an inquisitive young woman with an untethered sexuality and a dark past. Naughton, repped by Innovative and Luber Roklin, will play Brenda, a stunning African-American Bunny determined to become the first black Playboy centerfold who is Maureen's confidante and roommate in the Bunny Dormitory. Interestingly, she also played a 1960s Black Playboy bunny in the Hands and Knees episode of Mad Men last year. Alan Taylor, who directed the pilot for AMC's Mad Men, is directing Playboy from a script by Chad Hodge.

    Source: Deadline

  • jonathan | February 10, 2011 9:44 AMReply

    "One project that that fell apart, breaking geek hearts in the process" was Amber Heard's heterosexuality.

  • Mike_M | February 10, 2011 9:32 AMReply

    Well I like Amber Heard so I would prob go see this if she is in it...

  • SoulHonky | February 10, 2011 8:32 AMReply

    After the rousing success of the Tomb Raider franchise and The Mechanic (and his midas touch extending to the pilot of The Cape) what could go... oh, wait a minute...

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