This time, the allegations against Bryan Singer might actually stick. Just a couple of weeks after it was reported that Singer would keep his job directing Red Sonja for Millennium Films in the wake of new sexual misconduct accusations, the movie “is no longer on the company’s slate and it is not being shopped at this year’s European Film Market in Berlin,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
This quiet disappearance comes not long after Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner spoke out in support of Singer, saying that he had no plans of removing the director from the project in response to an exposé in the Atlantic in which multiple men accused Singer of sexual misconduct, including sex with underage boys. (Singer “categorically denies” all such allegations and attacked the Atlantic’s journalistic integrity for reporting them.) Lerner referenced Singer’s box office success as a reason to keep him on board:
The over $800 million Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed, making it the highest grossing drama in film history, is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen. I know the difference between agenda driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.
Lerner walked that statement back a few days later, saying that he signed off on the statement without reading it and that it “came out the wrong way.” However, he also told the Hollywood Reporter that he “has received zero negative feedback from the Hollywood community” and specifically did not apologize.
“I don’t want to apologize. I just want to clarify [the statement],” Lerner says, noting that English is his second language. “I think victims should be heard and this allegation should be taken very, very seriously. I just don’t agree to judge by the Twitter. I want [the accused] to be judged by the court.”
Something has obviously changed. Though the production company has not removed Singer as director of Red Sonja, the project, which was touted as a female empowerment movie in the vein of Wonder Woman, has been put on hold entirely. It was expected to begin filming in Bulgaria this spring.