RED SONJA Star Matilda Lutz Reveals That Upcoming Reboot Is “Very Women-Empowered”

This year’s Red Sonja reboot hasn’t had the easiest of journeys to the big screen, losing multiple filmmakers – including X-Men helmer Bryan Singer – and even its main star (Thunderbolt‘s Hannah John-Kamen). M.J. Bassett has since stepped behind the camera to direct the action, with Matilda Lutz tapped to bring the iconic warrior to life in a movie fans hope will do this character justice. 

It’s been nearly four decades since the character appeared in a movie, with Brigitte Nielsen bringing the iconic hero to life way back in 1985. Now, in an interview with CBR (via SFFGazette.com) at South by Southwest, Lutz shared new insights on how this iteration will differ from her predecessors. 

“So, what I can tell about Red Sonja, is that the first ones and the comics were [made] with a very male-gazed orientation,” she explained. “This is a completely different story, and it’s very women-empowered, which I loved about the script.”

Not everyone will be happy with that given how sexualised Red Sonja often is on the page, but this lines up with comments made by Bassett last year. She confirmed this version won’t be depicted as a victim of sexual assault and, instead of delving into “sexual politics,” the reboot will focus on the character as a “human being in the world of femininity.”

Joining Lutz in the cast are Wallis Day, Robert Sheehan, Michael Bisping, Martyn Ford, Eliza Matengu, Manal El-Feitury, Katrina Durden, and Oliver Trevena. The latter will play Tr’aal, a gladiator-type warrior who joins Sonja in her fight against the evil emperor.

Sacha Baron Cohen was once approached to play the villainous magician Kulan Gath, but is thought to have turned the role down. As a result, it’s unclear whether the character is still in the movie and, if he is, who will play him. 

The beloved She-Devil With a Sword’s story began in comics in 1973, and now 50 years later she remains the greatest sword-and-sorcery female heroine of them all. She’s hacked and slashed her way into the hearts of fantasy and comics fans all around the world. 

Inspired by the sword and sorcery comic books of the same name from Dynamite Entertainment, the Red Sonja movie is based on the heroine created by Robert E. Howard and adapted by Roy Thomas. This version of the character is described as a fearsome warrior boasting a high degree of skill with a sword, though no specific story details have been revealed.

Red Sonja is expected to be released in theaters later this year.