There's no way that Red Sonja movie goes ahead with Bryan Singer now. It'll be DOA for as long as he stays attached to it.
Avi Lerner is the same guy that threatened Terry Crews with removal from Expnedables 4 if he didn't drop his sexual assault allegations against William Morris agent Adam Venit.Bryan Singer to Keep 'Red Sonja' Directing Gig Even After New Accusers Speak Out
More than 24 hours after The Atlantic published a bombshell exposé about Bryan Singer and underage boys, Millennium Films has weighed in on the director’s fate with regards to its reboot of the film Red Sonja. Even after being accused by four men of having sex with them when they were younger than the age of consent, Singer is keeping his job.
"I continue to be in development for Red Sonja and Bryan Singer continues to be attached," read a statement from producer Avi Lerner to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lerner added, "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. 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."
Singer is now being handled by crisis PR guru Howard Bragman, who also is representing Red Sonja.
It is a shocking development, given the severity of the claims and considering the number of Hollywood actors, producers and executives who have seen their careers evaporate after facing less damaging accusations. The journalists spent 12 months investigating the Bohemian Rhapsody director, beginning work on their piece — originally slated for Esquire — as Hollywood’s #MeToo movement was still gaining momentum (the two reporters say their piece was killed by Hearst higher-ups).
Sources say Millennium had been inundated with calls and emails over the past day calling Millennium complicit if it continued to work with Singer, but Lerner decided to stay the course.
The journalists spoke to more than 50 sources, including four men who spoke about their relationship with the writer-director for the first time. Victor Valdovinos — the only subject to use his name — told The Atlantic that he was a 13-year-old extra on the set of Apt Pupil when a 30-something Singer sexually assaulted him. (That film sparked a series of lawsuits by underage extras who were forced to disrobe entirely for a shower scene.)
Another man claimed that he had sex with Singer’s when he was 17. Another claimed that he and Singer had sex when he was 15. Both incidents are said to have happened in 1997.
One accuser said that Singer and a network of friends had people who brought them boys. "If you weren’t young and cute enough to be their boy, you could still ingratiate yourself by bringing boys to them," he is quoted as saying.
In December 2017, Singer was accused of rape by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman, who said in a lawsuit that Singer raped him while aboard a yacht in Seattle in 2003, when he was 17. Singer has denied Sanchez-Guzman's allegations. Perhaps prophetically, Sanchez-Guzman told the magazine that "the industry will brush things under the rug and pretend nothing happened."
Even without the allegations of rape, Singer was an erratic presence on set. He was fired near the end of production of Bohemian Rhapsody in December 2017, days before Sanchez-Guzman filed suit. Executives at 20th Century Fox made the move largely due to Singer’s unexplained absences from set. He was replaced by Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher, but he was still credited as sole director of the film due to DGA rules.
Still, Millennium hired Singer to direct its reboot of a female-empowered Red Sonja that is expected to begin shooting in Bulgaria in the spring. Even more shocking, the studio was willing to pay Singer his full quote of $10 million if certain box office milestones were met. Those negotiations came out in Singer’s favor despite the fact that he had no agent after being dropped by WME.
At the time, Millennium execs said privately that they were willing to take the chance given the prerelease buzz on Bohemian Rhapsody, which has proved to be a huge hit, with $800 million to date worldwide at the box office. The film landed five Academy Award nominations this week, including best picture.
In the immediate aftermath of The Atlantic article, Singer released the following statement saying the story "rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits."
"The last time I posted about this subject, Esquire magazine was preparing to publish an article written by a homophobic journalist who has a bizarre obsession with me dating back to 1997. After careful fact-checking and, in consideration of the lack of credible sources, Esquire chose not to publish this piece of vendetta journalism," Singer stated.
Singer added, "That didn’t stop this writer from selling it to The Atlantic. It’s sad that The Atlantic would stoop to this low standard of journalistic integrity. Again, I am forced to reiterate that this story rehashes claims from bogus lawsuits filed by a disreputable cast of individuals willing to lie for money or attention. And it is no surprise that, with Bohemian Rhapsody being an award-winning hit, this homophobic smear piece has been conveniently timed to take advantage of its success."
Social welfare organization Time's Up released a statement on Thursday calling for claims against Singer to be investigated and noted, "Those who hire alleged abusers must recognize that these decisions not only subject their employees to possibly unsafe working conditions, but also perpetuate a broken system that rewards powerful people and allows them to act without consequence."
Millennium Films Faces Explosive Sex Harassment Suit
A former executive at Millennium Films has filed a harassment lawsuit, alleging that the company fostered a culture that was demeaning towards actresses and female employees.
The suit alleges that women were called “whores,” “c—suckers,” and “mistresses,” and actresses were routinely called “too fat,” “too ugly” and “too old.”
The plaintiff filed the case under a pseudonym, Jane Roe, but is identified as a former director of development at the L.A.-based company that produced such films as “The Expendables,” “London Has Fallen,” and the 2008 “Rambo.” The suit names CEO Avi Lerner as a defendant, and alleges that he made many of the disparaging remarks.
The suit also alleges that Lerner hired “unqualified girlfriends” to produce his films, and encouraged young women to wear revealing clothing — without underwear — around the office. When the plaintiff complained about the company’s hiring practices, she was told that “the girls” were valuable to the company because they helped procure prostitutes for actors working with the company and for Lerner’s friends, according to the suit.
On one occasion, a female vice president was criticized for not producing a film properly because she was “too busy having sex with her boyfriend,” the suit alleges.
The suit also contends that female employees were paid less than their male counterparts.
Also named in the suit were executives Jeffrey Greenstein, Boaz Davidson, and John Thompson.
Millennium did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Millennium recently sold a 51% stake in the company to China-based Recon Group.
The suit alleges that the plaintiff was fired after disclosing her need for back surgery, in December 2016.
Kevin Smith’s ‘Jay And Silent Bob Reboot’ Fires Up With Saban Films – Sundance
UPDATED with video: Saban Films has picked up the North American rights to Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Jason Mewes and Smith are returning to their title roles, alongside a number of other stars from the original Miramax release as well as new faces. Saban Films will release the pic theatrically and production is currently underway.
Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) were first introduced 25 years ago in Smith’s directorial debut, Clerks, and continued to appear in Smith’s cinematic canon including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, as well as the animated film Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. The new movie will take jabs at reboots, remakes, and sequels while simultaneously being all three at the same time.
Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley said, “Jay and Silent Bob is a global franchise which has a very loyal fan base. Partnering with Kevin at script stage on the next chapter of these iconic characters is a huge milestone. This is the beginning of a new initiative at Saban Films, to partner on IP with seasoned filmmakers and talent early on in the creative process all the way through distribution.”
Smith said, “Last February, I almost died. So on the one year anniversary of my widow maker heart attack, as a celebration of life and a big ol’ F you to Death, my best friend and I will be rolling cameras on a sequel/remake/reboot of a movie we first made nearly twenty years ago! In Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back our herbal heroes found out Hollywood was making a movie based on them, so they journeyed out to Hollywood to stop it. But I’ve learned so much as a storyteller and have grown immensely as a filmmaker since then, so audiences can expect something completely different: In Jay & Silent Bob Reboot our herbal heroes find out Hollywood is making a reboot of the old movie that was based on them, so they journey out to Hollywood to stop it again. I offer my (literal) undying thanks to our amazing partners at Saban and Universal for making this dream come true and backing this cinematic silliness!”
Mewes said, “I’m tired of doing Shakespeare all the time so it’ll be nice to get back to playing Jay again. It may be 25 years since I first played the idiot man-child from Jersey but this time’s going to be the best because I’ve really grown into the role of idiot man-child in my old age.”
Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films, with Jackie Eckhouse of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo on behalf of the filmmakers. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group acquired all foreign rights. Jordan Monsanto of Smodco is producing alongside Destro Film’s Liz Destro.
Equity financing for the picture has been provided by Hideout Pictures, Mickey Gooch Jr’s Skitbags Entertainment, and Fan Owned Legion M. Debt Financing for the film has been provided by Three Point Capital Louisiana and Intercut Capital.
Smith and Mewes expand on the details of the pic in this video thanking Legion M for backing the movie: