First Look At Red Sonja Reboot Is Here, And I Think Arnold Schwarzenegger's Conan Would Approve

Dynamite Comics artwork of Red Sonja fighting with sword
(Image credit: Dynamite Comics)

Some Hollywood projects take longer to move forward than others, and Red Sonja certainly qualifies in that regard. Since 2008, there have been multiple attempts to get a reboot of the 1985 movie that starred Brigitte Nielsen in the title role off the ground. Well, following these setbacks, the newest take on Red Sonja is finally shooting, and I think Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian would approve of our first look at Matilda Lutz as the sword-wielding warrior.

At the start of 2022, the plan was for Ant-Man and the Wasp’s Hannah John-Kamen to bring Red Sonja to life in this upcoming movie, but by March, she exited the role. Five months later, Matilda Lutz, known from Rings and Medici: Masters of Florence, took her the lead role, and Millennium Media has shared the first image of the actress suited up as Red Sonja.

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For those unfamiliar with Red Sonja, although the heroine was originally part of the Hyborian Age mythology that Conan the Barbarian hails from, she wasn’t created by author Robert E. Howard, but rather writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor-Smith for the Conan the Barbarian comic book series that Marvel Comics published in the 1970s. It didn’t take long for Red Sonja to take on a life of her own, and a little over a decade later, the first Red Sonja movie hit theaters. Granted, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian, who’d led two movies prior to this, ended up being renamed Lord Kalidor due to rights issues, but whatever you call the character, I’d put money on him digging how Matilda Lutz looks as the new Red Sonja.

These days, Red Sonja is largely separated from Conan the Barbarian, with Dynamite Comics having published numerous series centered on the character for nearly 20 years. Given that the original Red Sonja movie was a critical and commercial flop, the Matilda Lutz-led reboot has the opportunity to leave a better impression for a new generation of moviegoers. This project has passed through a lot of hands over the years, and there was a period where X-Men’s Bryan Singer was going to direct. However, that incarnation of Red Sonja was put on hold in February 2019, and by the following June, Transparent’s Joey Soloway was tapped to take over directorial duties, as well as write and produce. 

Now M.J Bassett of Deathwatch fame is helming Red Sonja (which was greenlit in part because of how successful Wonder Woman was), and Joey Soloway will be credited as an executive producer. Bassett and Tasha Huo also contributed to the script. No specific plot details for Red Sonja have been revealed yet, but Matilda Lutz’s castmates include Wallis Day (who you might remember for succeeding Ruby Rose as Kate Kane on Batwoman) as Annisia, Robert Sheehan as Draygan, Michael Bisping as Hawk, Martyn Ford as General Karlak, Eliza Matengu as Amarak and Oliver Trevena as Tr'aal. The reboot kicked off production in August in Bulgaria.

There’s no word yet on when Red Sonja will be released, but we’ll pass along that information once it’s officially announced. Until then, check out the 2023 new movie releases that have been slotted.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.