Red Sonja (1985) Movie Poster

Trivia for Red Sonja (1985)

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  • Sandahl Bergman was initially cast as the title character. She decided to portray Queen Gedren to help avoid typecasting.
  • The name of Ronald Lacey's character, "Ikol," spelled backwards is "Loki." In Nordic mythology, Loki is the God of Evil and Corruption, infamous for being a jealousy-prone troublemaker, and plays a pivotal role in the End of the World.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger eschews this movie as one of his worst, yet he (laughingly) claims that it's an excellent disciplinary tool for his children. "I tell them, if they get on my bad side, they'll be forced to watch Red Sonja (1985) ten times in a row. It must be working, because none of my kids has ever given me much trouble."
  • The original theatrical trailer of this movie contains cutting room-floor footage of scenes glimpsed only briefly in the film's prologue: Sonja, left to perish in her burning home, is saved by her dying brother Barlok; Gedren, prior to her disfigurement, addresses her soldiers and slaves.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's character was originally intended to be a reprisal of Conan, star of the comic book in which Red Sonja first appeared, but the film did not have the rights to this name. An unofficial explanation endorsed by fans is that Kalidor is one of Conan's "traveling names," a common feature of multi-national mythical/legendary heroes such as Zeus (a.k.a. Jupiter) and J.R.R. Tolkien's Gandalf (a.k.a. Mithrandir).
  • Maria Shriver said in a TV interview that at the premiere she remarked to her then-husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, "If this doesn't kill your career, nothing will".
  • It is commonly believed that Robert E. Howard created the character of Red Sonja in one of his Conan short stories. He actually created Red Sonya, who appeared in "Shadow of the Vulture," a story set in 16th-century Turkey with no Conan connections. She was the namesake of the famous "Red Sonja" who first appeared in a Conan comic book written by Roy Thomas and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith.
  • Last cinematic appearance of Tutte Lemkow, best known as the title character in Norman Jewison's musical epic "Fiddler on the Roof".
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger signed up for a glorified cameo, as a favor to producer Dino De Laurentiis. Much to his surprise, he was on the set for four weeks, three weeks longer than expected. He discovered after watching a rough cut of the movie that his role had been expanded to co-star, thanks to crafty angles and multiple cameras. Soon after, Schwarzenegger decided to terminate his 10-year contract with De Laurentiss.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen had an affair during filming.
  • Michael Moorcock has mentioned that, if not for a timely intervention by his lawyers, his famous evil weapon Stormbringer might have appeared unauthorised in the film.
  • Sigourney Weaver was considered for Red Sonja.
  • A remake was announced in 2009, with Robert Rodriguez directing and Rose McGowan to star as Red Sonja. When Conan the Barbarian (2011) failed at the box office, Rodriguez and McGowan backed out of the project. As of 2015, the remake is in development hell.
  • In the flashback, when Red Sonja slashes Queen Gedren's face, giving Gedren her scar, it is in the shape of the letter F.
  • The western Hannie Caulder (1971) is considered a possible influence behind the film. In that film, the red haired main protagonist becomes a vengeful gunwoman as she seeks revenge upon the three outlaws who raped her and killed her husband. A bounty hunter joins her on her quest.
  • Critic Gene Siskel called the film "A bad film that was unintentionally funny".
  • Eileen Davidson auditioned for Red Sonja.
  • Queen Gedren's warriors are modeled after the Samurai.
  • The showdown between Queen Gedren and Red Sonja can also be seen as if they were fighting over Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sandahl Bergman played Schwarzenegger's character's love interest in Conan the Barbarian (1982), while Brigitte Nielsen plays her in this movie.
  • Brigitte Nielsen later played a similar role in Galaxis (1995). She stars as Ladera, an intergalactic warrior princess who teleports to Earth to stop the evil warrior Kyla from possessing a magic crystal which will make him powerful.
  • Dino De Laurentiis met with actress Laurene Landon, and was set to offer her the role of Red Sonja until he discovered she was in an earlier film called Hundra. Fearing it was too similar, de Laurentiis decided not to give her the part.
  • On a 2015 episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, soap opera actress Eileen Davidson revealed that she auditioned for the role and was actually runner-up to Brigitte Nielsen.
  • It took Dino De Laurentiis almost a year to find an actress "Amazonian" enough to play the title character. Eight weeks before production was set to begin, he saw Brigitte Nielsen on the cover of a fashion magazine. The 21-year-old native of Helsingør, Denmark, in Milan for a modeling job, soon found herself on a plane heading for Rome and a successful screen test.
  • George MacDonald Fraser, who had recently adapted Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea for Dino De Laurentiis, was hired to work on the script during filming.
  • Ronald Lacey and Pat Roach had previously appeared together in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" which they both portrayed Nazis and/or Nazi henchmen (Roach played a dual role in the film).
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