Brow Beat

Hiring Bryan Singer: Not the Best Way to Kick Off Your Female-Driven Comic Book Franchise

Bryan Singer with his arms in the shape of a letter X, crossed at the wrists.
Bryan Singer.
Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

Millennium Media is making a movie about Conan the Barbarian character Red Sonja, and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Bryan Singer is in negotiations to direct.

If this news has you scratching your head, you’re not alone. Singer has been the subject of multiple sexual misconduct allegations over the years, from controversies involving minors on the set of Apt Pupil to the infamous Hollywood sex ring allegations in 2014, which Singer has denied as “outrageous, vicious and completely false.” Additional allegations against Singer emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, including a lawsuit accusing Singer of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy on a yacht in 2003, which Singer has also “categorically” denied, with a representative promising to countersue.

Even setting aside the accusations against Singer for a moment, there are other reasons to be surprised that a studio would consider hiring him. The director has also repeatedly been accused of unprofessional behavior on set, most recently on Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, from which he was eventually fired because he reportedly did not show up to work. So far, the prospect of Singer directing Red Sonja is not proving to be a popular one:

The Hollywood Reporter piece notes that “Millennium is financing and producing the new version of Sonja and is hoping to start a franchise and capture the audience that turned out for Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman.” Now, I’m no movie executive, but I do have something in common with 52 percent of the people who turned out to see Wonder Woman, and my woman-brain tells me that hiring a man with a reputation for unexpected absences and multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him is not a smart business decision. Especially if you’re trying to get lady-butts in the seats.