It’s been almost forty years since the last Red Sonja movie, and it’s been a monumental task to bring the Robert E. Howard-inspired heroine back to the big screen. Earlier this year, Hannah John-Kamen stepped down from the title role and director Joey Soloway also left the project. Soloway had already replaced Bryan Singer, whose sexual misconduct allegations cost him a chance to direct the film. Now, Red Sonja‘s new director, M.J. Bassett, is taking a very unusual step. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Bassett is suing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to save the film. Red Sonja director.
Bassett is an English director who lives in the United States, but she is not a U.S. citizen. The complication is that Bassett needs a new visa to guarantee that she will have permission to return to the U.S. following the film’s completion. Bassett’s lawsuit contends that the delay in getting that visa is threatening to derail the Red Sonja movie, which will film in Greece and Bulgaria.
The lawsuit states that the delay has made it “impracticable, if not actually impossible for [Bassett] to travel…for pre-production and filming and, just as importantly, making the film uninsurable, and therefore dooming it before it ever begins.” Additionally, the lawsuit notes that Bassett’s $1 million payday is also at stake.
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THR notes that the suit contends that USCIS informed Bassett that the visa delay was due to the war in Ukraine. The report also mentions that preproduction was supposed to begin on March 28, with cameras set to role on June 20. That means a new Red Sonja actress is already in place, or else the producers will have to scramble to fill the role in just over three months.
Bassett’s previous credits include Strike Back, Da Vinci’s Demons, Iron Fist, Altered Carbon, Nightflyers, and Motherland: Fort Salem. She also directed Silent Hill: Revelation, Rogue, and Solomon Kane.
Red Sonja was created by Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith based upon Howard’s Red Sonya character. Marvel introduced Red Sonja in the pages of Conan the Barbarian before she spun out into her own comic book series. She is a fierce warrior, who is perhaps best known for her infamous bikini armor. Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the 1985 Red Sonja film. Currently, Red Sonja’s adventures are published by Dynamite Entertainment.
What do you think about Bassett’s lawsuit? Let us know in the comment section below.
Recommended Reading: Red Sonja Omnibus Vol. 1
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