Eighteen months ago, Rose McGowan was "free-running with swords" in preparation for Red Sonja. And then... silence.
There was a clue in the news that she'll be appearing in Marcus Nispel's Conan as Somebody Else,* but now it seems confirmed, via an exclusive over at Pajiba, that while the rather delayed Sonja do-over is still a going concern, Rose will no longer be filling the chain-mail bikini. Which, sadly, renders the rather exciting teaser artwork of yesteryear sadly redundant.
Who will replace her? Well according to Pajiba's source, the shadowy and mysterious Hollywood Cog, the offer is out to Megan Fox, who to be fair, is a bit closer in age to the "innocent teenager who metamorphosizes into an unparalleled warrior" than the 36-year-old Rose (Brigitte Nielsen was 22 for the 1985 version).
The word on the street is that the project as it previously existed has basically been scrapped, with director Doug Aarniokoski (Highlander: Endgame) also departing, and new writers being sought to draft further drafts of David N White's script.
Robert Rodriguez does still seem to be attached as producer though. He told MTV not long ago that Red Sonja's future depended on the box-office performance of Conan. But re-branding the package as a potential solo franchise for the hot-but-untested Fox (Jennifer's Body was a two-hander; Transformers' human performers are irrelevant) might just, we're thinking, make the Hollywood suits that much more inclined to sign some cheques. Megan Fox in scant metal underwear? We can envisage untold dramatic potential, and possibly several Oscars. This film must be made.
*Sonja being, like Conan, a Robert E Howard character. Except she isn't really, because the Sonja we recognise has more to do with Marvel Comics and Roy Thomas.