Yesterday, The Atlantic dropped a bombshell exposé that, with the backing of more than 50 sources, added four men to the sizable list of individuals who have accused Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer of either sexual assault or of seducing them while aware they were below the age of consent. One of the big questions in the article’s wake had to do with Millennium Films’ upcoming adaptation of comic book Red Sonja, which Singer is currently slated to direct. “I am afraid the response is ‘unavailable for comment,’” a Millennium publicist told The Atlantic. Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter’s Tatiana Siegel was told the company was still “checking” on the answer. Today, we have it, and it’s about what we expected. Bryan Singer will absolutely still be directing Red Sonja, the “female-empowered” story of a sexual assault survivor, because its producer doesn’t read “fake news.”
“I continue to be in development for Red Sonja and Bryan Singer continues to be attached,” reads a statement sent to THR by Avi Lerner, a longtime producer with credits like The Expendables and the upcoming Rambo sequel to his name.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
As we previously reported, Singer could receive up to $10 million for the job. This is remarkable not only in light of the allegations, but also due to the fact that Singer was fired from Bohemian Rhapsody after he just stopped coming to set. Singer blamed on-set tensions for his absence, but it turns out he has a long history of being unprofessional at work, from his late arrivals and erratic behavior to his penchant for disrupting production with unannounced guests.
Compounding all of this is the Atlantic exposé’s reporters saying that their piece, originally slated for Esquire, was approved for publication before being yanked at the last minute by executives at Esquire’s parent company, Hearst Magazines. “We do not know why,” reporters Alex French and Maximillian Potter said in a statement. In his response to the story, Singer claimed the piece was killed due to its “lack of credible sources,” calling it “vendetta journalism” that “rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits.” French and Potter, meanwhile, stand by their journalism, noting that the piece went through “another rigorous fact-check and robust legal vetting” at The Atlantic.
Not everyone is standing by Singer, however. Variety reports that LGBTQ media watchdog GLAAD has disqualified Bohemian Rhapsody from its upcoming Media Awards, the nominations for which it will announce on Friday morning.
“In light of the latest allegations against director Bryan Singer, GLAAD has made the difficult decision to remove Bohemian Rhapsody from contention for a GLAAD Media Award in the Outstanding Film – Wide Release category this year,” the organization says in a statement. “This week’s story in The Atlantic documenting unspeakable harms endured by young men and teenage boys brought to light a reality that cannot be ignored or even tacitly rewarded.”
It continues, “Singer’s response to The Atlantic story wrongfully used ‘homophobia’ to deflect from sexual assault allegations and GLAAD urges the media and the industry at large to not gloss over the fact that survivors of sexual assault should be put first.”
Regardless, don’t be surprised when Bohemian Rhapsody cleans up at the Oscars.