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Comic-Con 08: Robert Rodriguez Presents Red Sonja with Rose McGowan!

by
July 25, 2008

Red Sonja

Earlier today we attended the panel for the upcoming Red Sonja movie, scheduled for a fourth quarter release in 2009, with producer Robert Rodriguez, director Doug Aarniokoski and star Rose McGowan. This was my first ever movie panel at Comic-Con and it truly was exciting. Rodriguez was very entertaining and full of fun comments, some of which you can hear below. McGowan looked amazing and had a very humble feel to her. And director Aarniokoski just seemed real happy to be there. You're probably already familiar with this adaptation of Robert E. Howard's classic work, as it was just announced about a month ago and we published some news about it earlier today. Included below are a few of the details and updates that Rodriguez and company brought about our favorite "she-devil with a sword."

Unfortunately there were no clips shown this time because they have yet to start filming. As of now, they're still finding locations to shoot and finishing casting with an expected start date in the fall. They did, however, have some promo photos of McGowan dressed in character and she looked definitely looked the part. She had the chain mail bikini, flowing red hair, and a badass sword! What is she doing to get in shape? "I'm working out three hours a day and loving it!" She is also doing some sword training with martial arts stunt coordinator Chad Stahelski (Matrix, Constantine, 300). McGowan is very adamant about doing all of her own stunts, at last as much as they'll allow her, and can't wait to start shooting.

Rodriguez also spoke briefly about a few other commitments (including Shorts) that had kept him from directing the entire thing, those of which forced him to give control to his long-time friend and co-worker Doug Aarniokoski. However, just because he isn't directing doesn't mean he isn't intricately involved. He will be act as producer and even said he will be shooting select scenes. This is after all, Rodriguez' "lifelong dream" (he referenced "Savage Sword of Conan" #60 as the moment in his childhood where he fell in love with the world of Cimmeria). He said that bringing this film to life was something he has been working on for quite some time and the right things happened at the right times to get it where it is today. And as for an expected rating, Rodriguez put it nicely saying, "my name does have a double R!"

You can find two of the beautiful promo posters that they debuted at the panel below. What do you guys think of Rose McGowan as Red Sonja? Have someone better in mind or does this Rodriguez production sound like it might turn out pretty badass? Post a comment and let us know!

Red Sonja  Red Sonja

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  • andrew
    awesome news, definitely looking forward to it, wish i was there to see all of them.
  • Chris
    I have to wonder if people are all Red-Sonja'd out after eventually getting over their Xena fetish.
  • dom
    that poster on the right looks fucked - the shadows make her face look completely messed.
  • chrisUK
    1st poster is ace, the other not so good. can't think of any other good women for the lead role... maybe Rhona Mitra who was bad ass in Doomsday!
  • wetworks
    The 1st poster looks sweet, especially cropped for the banner. The one on the right, though, looks like yet another variation of the TrueJenny'sBloodyBodyMouth theme, now with more Swordy goodness. Ok, this one has eyes and cleavage, but it still reminds me...
  • Django
    This will certainly blow the Brigitte Nielsen's version into oblivion. While we're at it, Rose McG can blow ME too!
  • Omega728
    From these posters, looks like they're sticking with the Sin City, 300, Spirit type visuals but I could be wrong. McGowan looks hot, but isn't she too small/fragile to play the part? I think someone more built like Jessica Biel or as #4 mentioned Rhona Mitra who looks more bass ass. Still this looks good so far.
  • http://www.10tu.com/forums dRailer
    Agreed with #7. And mostly I find the news meh-worthy.
  • Spider
    Both posters are artistically sexy! Rose McGowan will pull it off--she's long overdue for a star making role. Rose McGowan is freakin' hot and a perfect fit for Sonja. Rhona Mitra is smokin' hot too, but doesn't fit the Sonja role!!
  • http://film-book.com/ Film-Book dot Com
    Jessica Biel would have been great in this role, as would Mitra. Since RR is involved, we will get bloody fight scenes and cool action, so lets wait and see.
  • Curtis
    damn these posters are uber hot i love the left hand side bloody brilliant.
  • dave13
    meh. I think Rose McGowan is great and so is RR, but I'm skeptical about this movie. The whole 'hot chick kicking ass in almost nothing' screams Catwoman or Elektra. But RR does often end up making a good movie, so if anyone can make me like this movie, I suppose RR might be the one.
  • Alex
    Fire in the hole!
  • Dave V.
    Hope it's better than the first one.
  • Drake
    i was thinkin the same thing no.10 mitra would have been great for this role. hey is it just me or does this look like that game 'heavenly sword'
  • Richard
    I hope its not quite a 300 ripoff, I like real scenery sometimes, that's what gave the old Conan Cinematic Universe its visceral appeal IMHO, these Robert Howard adaptions should all be done with as little CGI as possible if you ask me, I think he would like it that way better. BTW I cant Wait!
  • Alex
    heavenly sword + 300
  • Conrad
    Sure, I could use a laugh
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    #7 - Well, given these were made purely for Comic-Con and are based off of comic covers, they have nothing to do with the eventual visual style of the movie. They haven't event shot and won't begin until later this year. I think they're going with a very unique visual style, but you can't say that because these posters look a certain way, the movie will look a certain way because they're so incredibly disconnected...
  • L
    The left poster is absolutely amazing
  • REAL6
    HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • insanartist
    ROSE *Can't make a movie with a lead character*MGOWAN (PASS) This will BOMB................................ I will stream it just to watch how hot she is
  • Dan
    Rose is a horrible actor. And her voice is not strong enough... perfect maybe for a campy show like Charmed, but awful otherwise. And she's too petite. And too cute. Red Sonjoa should be dangerously, exotically beauitiful, not "cute." Horrible choice. Robert's judgment has definitely been clouded on this one. Pillow talk should not spill over into casting.
  • http://movieguyreviews4u.blogspot.com Ryan
    Left is amazing. Right is sexy but very photoshopped. ALSO, WHAT IS WITH ALL OF THESE POSTERS WITH TONGUES AND BLOOD??????????
  • Melissa Fay
    I feel like all comic heroes, no matter how many villains they kill, adhere to a sense of honor, a moral code if you will. Like those they play, one hopes that the actor playing the character reflects this sense of honor in their own lives, unfortunately, neither Rose McGowan nor Robert Rodriguez project the possession of these qualities. Personal choices are personal choices, but they should recognize that audiences will never accept their partnering on films, especially comic based films. Concerning the poster... the second one is totally off balance, as the face looks distorted. It blows my mind when studios pay so much money for flawed creative. As a side note, I'm not saying that Rose McGowan is brainless, but like the previous comments, I agree that a female lead in this type of film needs a certain strength, both physically and intellectually... my initial impression is that Rose McGowan lacks both. I thought Rhona Mitra would be the perfect choice, other suggestions: Evangeline Lilly, Kristen Bell, Rachel McAdams, Pink? I sincerely hope they recast this film, otherwise, I'll be sure to catch it when it's on HBO.
  • Tina
    I was at Comic Con for this and it looks like fun. Isn't that what movies and comics are supposed to be for? Rose seemed very overwhelmed and sweet at the autograph signing. I think she can pull it off. Why does everyone get negative? Let's just wait and see. Also, she is no longer dating the director, so that's not why she's in the role.
  • Redelf
    Rose McGowan...blah. No excited about her at all. Hated her in Charmed and pretty much anything else she has ever been in. But I will be willing to wait and see. I didnt want to see Tom Cruise as Lestat either but I liked it after I saw it so I am willing to give McGowan a chance though I am not hopeful.
  • Tina
    Redelf, I agree that I haven't loved everything she's been in. I did enjoy Planet Terror. I'm actually really pleasantly surprised to hear that some people are so open minded about giving movies a chance. I guess anything will be better than the first Red Sonja :) I enjoyed Tom Cruise as Lestat. I've hated him in just about everything else though.
  • Carlos
    Of all the literary fantasy characters in the genre of High Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery no character has become as indelible and profoundly mythic and iconic as Conan. The creation of this character in the 1930’s by Robert Ervin Howard, is a feat of imagination and wannabe desires that rivals and surpasses even the characters of Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes, Fleming’s James Bond, Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, Stoker’s Dracula, Harris’s Hannibal Lecter, Rowling’s Harry Potter, and very likely even Siegel’s and Shuster’s Superman. Conan became every little boys and grownup’s fantasy dream of living in a time of total dominion of your destiny, regardless of your birth’s pedigree. If you had the physical might and sword skills you could cleave a road through life in times of total political incorrectness, lack of scruples, absent social conscience, unrepentant lack of pity, vengeful lust, greed to thwart and ridicule even the most profoundly heartless carpetbagger, robber baron or the worst manipulator and hypocritical and jaded wall street vermin of our current times. The chronicles of the battles and triumphs Conan had against the darkest and most pestilent ghouls ready to shred his very soul and scrape his flesh from his bones; or thwarting the most powerful, wretched and evil sorcerer’s imaginable intent on killing him, or escaping the claws and teeth of the deadliest of beasts, his vanquish of treacherous enemies wanting his head, or defeating horrifying monsters and means of death made possible by magic and sorcery conjured up from a sorcerer’s worst and most virulent nightmares, was something that left the readers with a thirst for more. Conan; slave, pirate, gladiator, gambler, bully, outlaw, plunderer, scoundrel, womanizer, slayer, fortune hunter, soldier, mercenary, fighter, lover, etcetera, had no equal. That is until the minds of Barry W. Smith and Roy Thomas created an archetypal ferociously deadly, unyielding, cunning, and viciously efficient and skilled female warrior equal to Conan’s might and skill with a sword, and possibly the only character that might have given Xena a tinge of fear in her heart. I am speaking of Red Sonja. There have been comic books, written novels, and movies with the character of Red Sonja, but they never got the attention that they merited, and the movies made of the Red Sonja character have also been sadly saddled with a gamut of baggage ranging from bad scripts, horrid acting, laughable choreography; exacerbated further with bad choices of actors, actresses, directors and writers who carelessly and in tangent with producers, directors and studios quilty of never took a seriously making an effort to make and create a good giving game movie franchise bonanza. Sadly, I see the same history being repeated again. Every one is in awe of Mr.Rodrigue’z resident genius status, so much so that no one seems to be willing to say boo! to him. That is very wrong, for regardless of how gifted Mr. Rodriguez is, he continuously displays a penchant to give roles to past resident Joanne the plummer, who may have done a dandy job in cleaning and routering his pipes, and maybe a good amount of competent rubs on his head, even at the expense of just plain and objective common sense. If you get a good script, a decently good director who has deflated his ego, the most appropriate star for the role regardless of connections, a committed studio and crew willing to collaborate and work in tangent, and even challenge gifted directors choices, and apathy of studio executive’s, everyone working together could very possibly put together something that will make little boys and large googly eyed big boys come back for more, by giving them something that has a nescient chance of flowering into a cash cow franchise. The best thing that Mr. Rodriguez should have done before handing out the roles of Red Sonja is to take a very cold shower to sharpen his focus, gone and done his best if need be to find Hand Solo, or studio executive’s willing to use common sense in questioning the choices of actors and personnel to carry the tune, then maybe this one more try to make a franchise of Red Sonja, might get off the ground and fly far and wide. Rose McGowan may be nice to look at through dark glasses, but in the light of day, she is not the right one to play Red Sonja regardless of how glossy the posters are, how good the airbrushing is done, or even how much time and effort is spent on exercising, toning up, and attending acting boot camps. Not everyone is Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltro, Hillary Swank, Joan Allen, Emma Thompson, Jodie Foster, Betty Davis, Helen Mirren, or Vanessa Redgrave. Sadly, the very beautiful and talented Ms. McGowan is likewise not the right person for the role as much as those in the know seem to assure those of lesser knowledge and abilities like myself, who see her choice to portray Red Sonja on the screen to be nothing but a train wreck coming. Why?, she neither has the temperament, character or body….yes, I said body for the role. So who would this amateur know-nothing have picked for the role…..someone who has the character, looks, and body….yes!, I said body and moves for the role as well. Red Sonja is an iconic female that can inflame dreams and desires not only of loin and fantasy dreams, but of bloodlust epiphanies even more so. The Romans knew well how wonderfully entertaining and fun cathartic mindless violence can be. Unfortunately, no one was awake at the switch when Mr. Rodriguez offered the talented Ms. McGowan the title role. So….whom would I have picked that in my humble opinion would be most likely to pull off the Red Sonja franchise off the ground with a good script and competent director………..If she would have accepted the role, I would give for your consideration……..Hudson Leick.
  • http://www.colourlovers.com/lover/ashleynicky ashley nicky
    A little bit awesome, but I expect it so much, maybe I'm to curious.

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