After years stuck in development limbo, the Red Sonja movie just took a big leap forward – in more ways than one. Deadline reports that Millennium Films has hired Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent, to write and direct the adaptation of the long-running comic book story. Soloway's hiring is a major improvement over Bryan Singer, who was removed from the project this year in the wake of his ongoing legal troubles over allegations of sexual abuse. Soloway, who also served as the showrunner for Transparent and directed the upcoming feature-length musical finale, is said to have a "bold new take" on Red Sonja – whatever that may be will likely be far better than Singer's plans for the character, whose harrowing origin story involves a brutal rape by the leader of the group of mercenaries who slaughtered her family. In a desperate plea for revenge, Sonja is visited by a goddess who transforms her into a powerful warrior in exchange for Sonja's promise to never sleep with a man – unless that man happens to defeat her in battle.
As you can see, Red Sonja is a film that could be pontentially very problematic in certain hands. When Gail Simone rebooted the character in 2013, she did away with the rape element, as well as the goddess visitation and subsequent promise to remain celibate; Simone's Sonja came into her fighting skills on her own terms, with no misogynistic inciting incidents or mystical makeovers. Hiring literally anyone but a man to tell this story is probably the best approach.
It's unlikely that we'll see Soloway's Red Sonja anytime soon: Deadline adds that, given the lengthy development and casting process, Soloway will probably direct another project before heading into production on Red Sonja. At any rate, it's an intriguing and potentially exciting development.