Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008 by Adam Quigley
Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and director Douglas Aarniokoski sat down to answer a bunch of questions from fans about Red Sonja at Comic Con today, and also took the liberty of showing off some of the teaser poster artwork they had come up with. Putting aside the bizarre coincidence that one of the teasers was the third poster this week to play up the hot-girl-licks-dripping-blood theme (complete with the contrast of the pale white skin against the harsh red hues), the artwork on display amounted to some damn fine looking imagery. I particularly like the shot of McGowan sitting on a mountain of skulls with her glowing red hair blowing in the wind. Morbid, yet also kind of hot.
There were also some rather cool tidbits that seeped through the cracks in regards to the visual style of the film and what kind of prep they’ve been doing to prepare for filming in the months ahead.
But first, for those wondering why Robert Rodriguez isn’t directing the film, it’s not by choice. He has a contract still going that requires his next film to be with the Weinsteins, and thus he is unable to work on this at the same time. This lead to his decision to have Douglas Aarnioko (Rodriguez’s first assistant director on everything from From Dusk Till Dawn to Spy Kids) helm the film. At the same time, I got the impression this was just a clever ruse for Rodriguez to direct the film while avoiding any legal trouble. It wouldn’t be the first time he decided to try something so unconventional, what with him dropping out of the DGA due to issues with his invention of the “special guest director” credit with Quentin Tarantino on Sin City. Compared to Aarniokoski, Rodriguez was clearly the more enthusiastic of the two, harboring a deep love of the source material and professing that his stamp on the material would definitely be noticeable.
As far as where the current stage the film is at right now, it was announced that Rodriguez and Aarniokoski had been scouting locations across the country for the past three weeks, while Rose McGowan would start her sword training this following week. The big note of interest though came from one of the Q&A participants, who asked if they were going to be incorporating green screen effects like they did on Sin City (or how it was later done with 300). The filmmaking duo explained that they were going to be using both, enhancing the practical locations in a way that differentiates it from other recent sword-and-sandal movies and gives it a unique look that we’ve never seen before. It sounded like they already had something particular in mind, so it will be interesting to see what eventually ends up on screen.
Rodriguez also went on to explain that the film would be very dark, following more along the lines of the novels than the comics. The most important difference between this incarnation and the original, however, came courtesy of Rose McGowan, who noted, “I wont have a mullet.” Bless you for that, Rose. Bless you. McGowan’s contributions didn’t end there either. When going into detail about why she wanted to do the project upon receiving the script, she explained that it’s important to “do what you want to do” instead of focusing simply on being a role model. “And I wanted to take a giant sword and kill a lot of people.”
Another interesting tidbit she offered up was a hint at what kind of action we could expect, referencing that it would be similar in ways to the free-running chase sequence that kicked off Casino Royale but with swords. As soon as I heard that I immediately had this mental image of the PS3 game Heavenly Sword, with the red-haired gal sliding across vines and launching in between enemies and various obstacles with stunning visual flair. If the Red Sonja film can capture even a smidgen of that gorgeous style, it’s sure to be an interesting ride.