The original Red Sonja film from 1985 is easily one of the most unique spin-offs to the Conan the Barbarian franchise. That’s mainly because the original Red Sonja film from 1985 technically isn’t a Conan the Barbarian spin-off at all. Even though the character of Red Sonja originated from Marvel’s Conan the Barbarian comics, a rights issue prevented the filmmakers from using any of the copyrighted material that dates back all the way to the original books from the 1950s. That didn’t stop them from getting Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) involved to play a character who was virtually identical to the action star’s role as the titular Barbarian, named Kalidor to differentiate from the original, and with Brigitte Nielsen (Cobra) in the starring role.
All in all, 1985’s Red Sonja encapsulates a lot of what you would expect to see. Over-the-top action, cheesy one-liners, and Arnold Schwarzenegger screaming, but none of that was enough to stop Red Sonja from becoming a box office bomb, not even earning half of its seventeen-and-a-half million dollar budget back. The brutal critical reception slamming the film’s absurd action, ridiculous plot, and lack of that R-rated bite from the Conan films it was clearly trying to replicate also didn’t help its prospects. Still, it’s fondly remembered as a nostalgic and fun fantasy ride and fans of the comics still adore the character and have long hoped to see an updated adaptation in the future.
A new film starring the famous “She-Devil with a Sword” has been in and out of early production for many, many years, but now it seems to finally be becoming a reality with a new film from director M.J. Bassett (Ash vs. Evil Dead). Already well into production, this new Red Sonja film will put Matilda Lutz (Rings) in the lead and will likely feature a story packed to the brim with action, adventure, and vengeance. To find out everything we know so far about the legendary warrior’s next feature-length adventure, read below to find out all the details for Red Sonja.
Does Red Sonja Have a Trailer?
Red Sonja is still currently in production, and as such, no footage of the film has been released online as of yet. We likely won’t see any footage until post-production is well-underway, so it may be a while until we see Sonja lobbing off heads in motion. However, we did get an early glimpse at what we can expect from the film through a promotional image teasing Matilda Lutz in full costume as the iconic heroine. Not too much to go off of, but it’s unmistakably Red Sonja, equipped with a deadly sword and barbaric armor, not to mention the essential red hair.
Does Red Sonja Have a Release Date?
No official date has been set for when Red Sonja will grace the screen, but given production on the film officially started this past August, we can probably suspect that the film will release sometime in late 2023.
Will Red Sonja be Released on Streaming or in Theaters?
With no release date currently set in stone, we also don’t currently know what formats the film will be initially released in. The production company behind Red Sonja, Millennium Media, has released their films in a variety of ways in the past. The production company released the most recent Rambo films, The Expendables trilogy, and the Olympus Has Fallen trilogy all in wide theatrical releases, but they have also had experience in streaming releases with the Prime Video original Jolt. Given that Red Sonja is a recognized intellectual property, we would wager that Red Sonja will likely be coming to theaters, but we’ll just have to wait and see when and where we’ll get to see Red Sonja’s latest quest.
What Is the Plot of Red Sonja?
Plot details are being kept under wraps for the upcoming remake, so we’re not entirely sure if the new film will be a direct remake of the 1985 movie or will be a more direct adaptation of the comics. Likely the one major theme that will carry over from Sonja’s comics history is the catalyst of her journey: the death of her family. Much like Conan, Sonja’s entire family was taken from her by a savage group of mercenaries, swearing to avenge them by hunting down those responsible. Where she differs from everyone’s favorite barbarian is Sonja actually has superhuman powers that grant her mastery over any weapon (though her main blade of choice is a standard sword). These are staples of Sonja’s character and will very likely make their way into the story in one way or another.
Who Is Making Red Sonja?
Several filmmakers have been attached to helm a new Red Sonja film at various times, with some names including Robert Rodriguez (Desperado) and Joey Soloway (Transparent) set to direct at one point or the other. Now the duty rests on M.J. Bassett’s shoulders, best known for her work on Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015-2016), Iron Fist (2018), and Reacher (2022). Bassett will also be co-writing the screenplay, with Joey Soloway still getting a screenwriting credit along with Tasha Huo. Production designer Clint Wallace (Space Jame: A New Legacy) and costume designer Alison McCosh (Peaky Blinders) are also part of the crew. The movie is produced by Nick Barrucci, Christa Campbell, Dorothy Canton, Mark Canton, Boaz Davidson, Joe Gatta, Jeffrey Greenstein, Lati Grobman, Avi Lerner, Yariv Lerner, Luke Lieberman, Heidi Jo Markel, Tanner Mobley, Trevor Short, Courtney Solomon, Joey Soloway, John Thompson, Robert Van Norden, Les Weldon, and Jonathan Yunger.
Who Is Starring in Red Sonja?
Much like the director, several actors were considered for the role of Sonja, such as Rose McGowan (Planet Terror) and Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp), before the role for the current version of the film ultimately went to Matilda Lutz, best known for her work in Italian cinema such as L’Universale (2016)
Lutz will be joined by a supporting cast consisting of Rhona Mitra (The Life of David Gale), Robert Sheehan (The Umbrella Academy), Martyn Ford (F9: The Fast Saga), Kate Nichols (The Operative), Wallis Day (Infinite), Veronica Ferres (Hector and the Search for Happiness), Michael Bisping (Den of Thieves), Katrina Durden (Shadow and Bone), Oliver Trevena (The Angel), Eliza Matengu (Thor: Love and Thunder), Manal El-Feitury (Hellboy), and Danica Davis (Endangered Species).
Is the Original Red Sonja Film Available to Stream Online?
In case you want to take a trip back to 1985 and get caught up on the live-action history of Red Sonja, the original film starring Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger is currently available to stream on FuboTV. There’s also an animated 2016 film featuring the character, Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues, which you can watch on a number of services including Crackle, Tubi, and Plex.