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Red Sonja | The reboot can finally deliver a worthy version of the character

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A warrior from the Conan universe could have a chance to redeem himself in the new adventure

Producing Red Sonja’s upcoming reboot won’t be easy. Initially, it was confirmed that director Bryan Singer would direct the entire film, but he was immediately sacked after reports of sexual harassment surfaced in 2019. That same year, the studio, Millenium Films, said the production would then be interrupted.

It remained that way until a few days ago, when it was announced that Jill Soloway would be the new director and screenwriter for Red Sonja. Its program includes participation in scripts for series such as O Mundo de Tara, A Sete Palmos and Transparent; the latter being a production created and directed exclusively by it. For the Deadline portal, Soloway said that “I can’t wait to bring the epic world of Red Sonja to life”, in addition to “exploring this powerful mythology and what it means to be a heroine.”

The heroine Red Sonja is inserted in the universe of Conan, the Barbarian being freely inspired by another character, the one created by the author of the saga Robert E. Howard, baptized Red Sonya by Rogatino for the tale The Shadow of Vulture. The main difference is that this story has no connection with the adventures of the famous barbarian because while the first takes place in the Hyborian era (the fictional equivalent of Howard in prehistoric times), the second has its framework established in the 16th century. during a dispute between the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Red Sonja’s first appearance was on a Conan adventure

The best-known version of the Hyborian warrior comes from his solo series in the Marvel Comics comic book published in 1975 and with the signing of Roy Thomas (who in turn was also responsible for the adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s books on Conan for the first time) for comics in October 1970). His debut, however, took place in 1973 during Conan’s adventure, the Barbarian # 23 as a supporting role.

As the protagonist ends up being pursued by Turan soldiers led by Mikhal Oglu (also known as Vulture, he is clearly referring to the main villain of The Shadow of Vulture, which in turn is also the title of issue 23. , inheriting not only the same name of the formidable assassin of the Grand Vizier as well as the same antagonistic role in both intrigues). After the Turanians invade a small village where he rested, Conan manages to escape but is pursued by them to the gates of Makkalet town. Surrounded by Turanians, he is saved by a group of soldiers led by someone who calls himself Red Sonja.

A detail about this first appearance is that at this time Red Sonja was not yet wearing the famous “bikini armor” with which the character has become iconic, given that this garment was only used from The Savage Sword of Conan. # 1 in August 1974 and yet it was not colorful. The character’s sensuality acted in accordance with the title’s final proposition, officially identified as a magazine to escape the censorship that existed on comics, which was to publish shocking and violent stories for an older audience.

The famous costume first appeared in “Savage Sword of Conan”

By the 1980s, the heroine’s popularity was already well established through her solo adventures and her involvement in other corporate titles (specifically when she swaps bodies with Mary Jane and fights alongside Spider-Man vs. Wizard Kulan Gath in Marvel Team-Up. # 79). This all led to 1985 when the movie Red Sonja was released, starring Brigitte Nielsen in the title role, in Brazil titled Guerreiros de Fogo.

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Conceived by producer Dino De Laurentiis as the first spin-off of the Conan saga in cinemas, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, films also produced by him, the production would have the difficult task of condensing years of Red Sonja history into a linear and direct plot in just under an hour and a half. The outcome was not positive, with reviews pointing in the wrong direction of Richard Fleischer (the same as Conan – O Destruidor, 1984), the poor performance of Birgitte Nielsen and the questionable quality script as reasons for the failure of the work.

Even Schwarzenegger’s involvement as Kalidor (the production didn’t secure the rights to use Conan in the plot so they created a “new” character) didn’t soften the audience’s blows. The star himself openly says it was one of the worst movies of his career. Inevitably, the work’s quick bad reputation had a noticeable impact on the box office.

Schwarzenegger’s presence also didn’t save the film from disaster.

With a budget of around $ 15 million, the film only grossed $ 6,951,415, according to Box Office portal Mojo. Interestingly, almost 99% of that final value was achieved through domestic box office performance, since in the rest of the world the value achieved was only US $ 2,782. The film’s failure is consistently cited as one, if not the primary, reason for the Conan franchise, the Barbarian was abandoned.

The Adventures of Red Sonja in the Comics continued to be published by Marvel Comics until December 1995 when after the release of Red Sonja: Scavenger Hunt, the publisher decided to no longer enjoy the character. It wasn’t until 2005 that she would have a solo title again, this time at the hands of Dynamite Entertainment (the same publisher of The Boys and the comedic version of Game of Thrones) that remains today.

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