“Conan, what is best in life?”
“Having a resurging action star from the 80′s reprise the role that made him famous, using a story that sounds epic and showing the young reboot usurpers exactly how it’s supposed to be done. Also, hear the lamentations of their women. I think that last bit is important.”
I cannot even begin to describe how happy this news makes me. Yes, Arnie will be back to swinging swords and punching horses, as he’s set to reprise the role of Robert E. Howard’s legendary barbarian character in a new requel. And no, that’s not a spelling mistake.
This film, titled The Legend of Conan, will not only be ignoring the rubbish 2011 reboot with Jason Momoa (which we’re already doing anyway), but also Conan the Destroyer, the 1984 sequel to Conan the Barabarian, and will instead be a direct sequel to that first film. So a sequel, but also a reboot of sorts.
The film will be produced by Frederik Malmberg – CEO of Paradox Entertainment, the holders of the film rights to Howard’s literary character – and Chris Morgan – also a screenwriter whose credits include 47 Ronin, Wanted and the last four Fast and Furious movies. It’s not confirmed yet but Morgan may end up writing the script to Legend, the idea for which came from him, which elaborated on to Deadline:
“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make. It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.”
“After the original seminal movie, all that came after looked silly to me. Robert E. Howard’s mythology and some great philosophy from Nietzsche to Atilla the Hun was layered in the original film. People say, he didn’t speak for the first 20 minutes of the film, but that was calculated in depicting this man who takes control of life with his own hand. This movie picks up Conan where Arnold is now in his life, and we will be able to use the fact that he has aged in this story. I love the property of Conan so much that I wouldn’t touch it unless we came up with something worthy. We think this is a worthy successor to the original film. Think of this as Conan’s Unforgiven.”
The original 1982 film, directed by John Millius and which he wrote off a draft from Oliver Stone , was about as harsh and unflinching as you can get. The Jason Momoa reboot seemed to think that just adding boobies and CGI blood would get the same end result, much to everybody else’s amusement. Would this film also have those brutal overtones?
“I loved the choices they made in that film. You start with the wholesale slaughter and death of Conan’s village at the hand of the warlord played by James Earl Jones, and you see young Conan chained to a wheel as he becomes stronger. Then he’s a pit fighter, and later basically a stud bull before he meets the first kind person of his life, who lets him go. All of that horrific stuff happened for a reason, and then an act of kindness sends him on his journey. Will that level of violence be there? Absolutely, but only if it serves a character who lives by that barbarian law of the wild, who is capable of extreme violence and rage, but who has created his own code and operates from within it. By the end of that film, Conan became a certain character, and this film picks him up there, as he faces different challenges that include dealing with age.””
Now as some of you may recall, this concept of an old King Conan going embarking on one final adventure so that he can go out on his shield is actually the original sequel idea that was floated before the 2011 reboot came to be. For a very long time, WWE wrestler Paul Michael “Triple H” Levesque was attached to the role, with him even adopting this persona of a king in his
day job as a scantily clad soap opera actor wrestling persona.
But now the true king is back (sorry Bruce Campbell), and the man himself, the Governator, had this to say about reprising the role nearly 30 years later:
“I always loved the Conan character and I’m honored to be asked to step into the role once again. I can’t wait to work with Universal and the great team of Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan to develop the next step of this truly epic story.”
I loved the idea for this story back when it was first suggested, and that was with a guy who pretends to get punched for a living in the lead role. But with Arnold Schwarzenegger himself in the fur undies? Phwoar!