Know, O prince, that between the years of 1985 and 2011 there was but one cinematic CONAN adventure. This scribe did rather enjoy it (for which do not judge me too harshly), but it did cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the tumultuous throng of fans and critics alike. For a usurper had dared to take the role, which had once belonged to the famed Arnold Schwarzenegger of distant Austria.
When the film did prove to be a box office failure, the fans did despair. For they did think that never again would they see their favourite barbarian wield a sword in battle, or witness fair maidens in diaphanous garments seduce the stoic Cimmerian.
But lo! Paradox Entertainment President and CEO Frederik Malmberg did lay these fans’ fears to rest when he stated that a new film was “100% happening” and that it would see the return of the famed Arnold Schwarzenegger of distant Austria as Conan.
Malmberg had much to say about his plans to bring THE LEGEND OF CONAN to the kingdom of the multiplex. Behold the words he did speak to The Arnold Fans (via AICN).
“We’re doing the script and it’s by the whole ‘Fast and the Furious’ team, which is great for a power position of the studio because they’re extremely successful – it was the biggest movie and if anyone knows how to build a franchise, it is that team. It’s Chris Morgan and Jeffery Kirschenbaum, the head of Universal. Arnold is very excited. It’s just in the phase where it takes a lot of work to get the script just right … We have a great story. Everyone loves it. This is a role that’s perfect for him and he’s very involved with the whole Universal team. It’s the best team they have. Arnold has been very instrumental to bringing this together saying, ‘We gotta make a good Conan!’ I think if we do this right, we can do two more Conan movies right after. I think Game of Thrones also shows a huge interest in fantasy. I’m psyched about it.”
So when would this tale be set?
“The idea is that this takes place AFTER Conan has been king. But this is the legend of Conan where he has been gone and people say, ‘do you remember the good ol’ days when Conan was around?’ And now it’s time for him to come back … The idea for this particular film is that he will be the lead. A lot of people ask if we’re going to introduce a son of Conan and pass the torch? The idea is to not. No, this is Conan’s movie. This is Arnolds' movie!”
And in what direction will this next high adventure go?
“With today’s production values, we can probably do a lot more with what they were doing way back then. I mean we have seen what Peter Jackson has done. I think of course this is probably more grounded and less fantastical with less creatures and CG monsters. We want to have some of that fantastical world but we don’t want it to become a complete fantasy because what really set Conan the Barbarian apart from all the other fantasy movies is that this feels like our prehistoric earth. Still, we want to make it full of splendour … It’s on the table and it’s a big studio picture and a big event movie. I wouldn’t rule it out but right now, all we’re concentrating on is the story. ... The president over there at Universal Pictures is Jeffery Kirschenbaum, and he’s one of the top two executive producers and he has a huge position there at Universal and he’s always been a huge Conan fan. ‘I want to make Conan,’ he’s said many times. And it was Universal who launched the first film with Arnold. Now the constellation is aligning.”
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