Back in early September, TheArnoldFans first broke the news that Schwarzenegger was working a deal to reprise his greatest role ever: Conan! As documented in the book "Arnold's Army: A Schwarzenegger Uprising," written by Randy Jennings of TAFs, The Austrian Oak told Randy that the fans should not despair. When asked if all hope was lost for the future of Conan, Arnold responded, “Not at all. Conan is very much alive,” Schwarzenegger confirmed, smiling. “We’re just now stirring the pot,” the future Conan star said while acting out a stirring motion with his all-powerful, sword-wielding, Wheel-of-Pain-pushing arms.
Now, in perhaps the greatest day for an Arnold fan in decades, the action hero has signed on officially with Universal! Deadline.com reveals now that "The Legend of Conan" will be produced by Fredrik Malmberg, CEO of Paradox Entertainment, and Chris Morgan. Malmberg is which holds the rights to Conan.
"I always loved the Conan character and I’m honored to be asked to step into the role once again," says Arnold. 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.”
Joakim Zetterberg of Paradox Entertainment tells us that Arnold Schwarzenegger talked highly of TheArnoldFans.com during the Conan business deal.
“Hi Randy, We’re very excited about today’s announcement and I hope you understand why we couldn’t say anything earlier. Also, when Fred (Fredrik Malmberg) met Schwarzenegger two weeks ago, Arnold mentioned his appreciation for TheArnoldFans to Fred.”
You see that, Arnold fans…all of your tweets and facebook messages have paid off! Schwarzenegger is listening to his fans! However, it’s looking less and less like we’ll be seeing the John Milius “King Conan: Crown of Iron” script come to life.
“The Milius script was commissioned by and is owned by a different studio so they can’t be used in this production, but we have great respect for Milius’s work,” Zetterberg tells TheArnoldFans.
But fear not; Schwarzenegger’s Conan character will still be a wise and barbaric ruler and I’m sure "The Legend of Conan" will still receive a blessing from Milius. The “Conan the Barbarian” director told me in one of his last interviews that he hopes Arnold does King Conan, even without him directing. Let’s hope Milius is hired on as a producer or a creative consultant.
Right now, Arnold fans are pumped with the news. The only thing that will make this better is when a future announcement comes in that the Basil Poledouris score will be adapted for "The Legend of Conan".
“It’s too early in the process to say anything about the soundtrack but I don’t think there is a composer out there who doesn’t know of the fantastic Poledouris scores, which are owned by Varese Sarabande,” Zetterberg tells TheArnoldFans.
“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” Malmberg tells Deadline.com. “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.”
In the comics titled King Conan, the Barbarian is meant to be an old and wise ruler. At the end of both Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, Schwarzenegger, in his late thirties, wears makeup and a gray beard meant to age the Barbarian to his mid-sixties. Arnold, now sixty-five, is the perfect age to grow out a real gray beard and pick up the Atlantean sword one final time.
“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,” says Malmberg. “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.”
Sven-Ole Thorsen, who plays Thorgrim from Conan the Barbarian tells TheArnoldFans what the character means to Arnold. “I remember the first time I saw Conan the Barbarian at the end of the movie when Arnold is sitting on the throne as an older king, and it left such an impression on me – so that character of that movie has to be made. They can make it when he’s 80 years old or 70 years old. I’m sure that Conan is very close to his heart, and we very often talk about the days in Spain because we spent so long there shooting the first Conan, and we were really bonding with all the stuntmen and all the actors. So many great locations. So I do know that Conan is very close to Arnold’s heart.”
Ralf Moeller, one of Arnold’s closest friends and actor who played Conan in the 1997 TV series, was trained by Schwarzenegger himself on how to properly wield a barbaric sword. Moeller, who is no stranger to this genre (The Scorpion King, Gladiator), also tells TheArnoldFans that King Conan weighs heavily on Schwarzenegger’s mind. When I asked the 6'6" actor if he would star in King Conan along with Arnold, he told me “absolutely” and said there were recent discussions about the film. “We [Arnold and I] just talked about it recently, and we agreed that one of the characters to best come back with is Conan. It’s really an epic film, like Gladiator and these films, but King Conan would be huge!”
The studio wants The Legend of Conan for summer 2014. Read "Arnold's Army: A Schwarzenegger Uprising" to learn why John Milius can not direct the next film, what the co-stars of the original Conan thinks of Arnold returning, learn about Arnold's huge golfing accident with Gerry Lopez, Olivia d'Abo's first kiss and many more barbaric tales of high adventure! Thank you, thank you, Arnold for granting your fans our wish. Unlike Crom, who seldom listens, you're always there for the fans. You're the king
MIKE FLEMING wrote:EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has made a deal for The Legend Of Conan, an action film that will star Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his signature roles as Robert E. Howard’s mythic barbarian. The deal brings Conan and Schwarzenegger back to Universal, which released the first film that launched Schwarzenegger’s movie career back in 1982. Universal has world rights on the film.
The film will be produced by Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan. Malmberg is CEO of Paradox Entertainment, which holds the rights to Conan. Morgan is the Universal-based writer and producer whose credits include the last four Fast And The Furious films, along with Wanted and 47 Ronin. Morgan has hatched the story and might write the script. The caveat is that the studio wants The Legend Of Conan for summer 2014, and Morgan might not be finished writing the seventh Fast And Furious installment by then. If that happens he will be a very active producer, because this is Morgan’s dream project.
Schwarzenegger starred in two Conan films before moving on to Terminator and other blockbusters as he became the world’s biggest action star. Paradox was involved in a 2011 reboot at Millennium Films that starred Jason Momoa and misfired. Paradox’s Malmberg, who moved the project away from Warner Bros after seven years of development with big-name filmmakers because the project was moving too slowly, feels that this is the version of the film that he and everybody else always wanted to see on the screen but couldn’t while Schwarzenegger was governor of California.
“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” Malmberg told me. “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.”
There are no plans for Momoa to return. Morgan said that in his mind, The Legend Oof Conan not only skips over that film, but also the 1984 sequel that Schwarzenegger starred in. The direct link is to the original, which was directed by John Milius from a script he wrote with Oliver Stone. That was a testosterone-laced exploration of Howard’s mythology of a child sold into slavery who grows into manhood seeking vengeance against the warlord who slaughtered his family and his village.
“After the original seminal movie, all that came after looked silly to me,” Morgan said. “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.”
They’ve yet to figure out whether the film will be R-rated like that original, but they won’t flinch from the hardness of the period depicted.
“I loved the choices they made in that film,” Morgan said. “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.”
Said Schwarzenegger: “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.”
Universal co-president of production Jeff Kirschenbaum will oversee the project, and attorneys Patrick Knapp and Richard Thompson made the deal for Paradox. CAA reps Schwarzenegger along with Knapp and Jake Bloom. ICM Partners reps Morgan.
I want to meet Chris Morgan.
Perfect world, we could sit down over the refreshment of our choice and we could talk about Conan. Specifically, we could talk about "Conan The Barbarian," the 1982 film that Universal released, directed by John Milius and written by Milius and Oliver Stone. That film was one of the things that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a viable movie star. Before that, he was known for a few quirky appearances in film like "Stay Hungry," his charismatic appearance in "Pumping Iron," and his bodybuilding triumphs. But "Conan The Barbarian" changed things for him, and its reputation has grown over time.
I've loved the film since opening weekend, and I love running into a hardcore fan of the film. You know you've found a kindred soul when you can ask, "What is good in life?" and someone answers without hesitation, "To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women." And based on the story that Deadline reported earlier this afternoon, Chris Morgan may be one of those people.
Universal Pictures is committed to developing "The Legend Of Conan," and the thing that makes this more exciting than last year's bizarre reboot attempt by Lionsgate is that Universal has Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the role.
Now, admittedly, it's been a lot of years since Arnold made that first film, and recapturing something that you did before, in terms of tone and style, is a tricky thing. Between "Conan The Barbarian" and "Conan The Destroyer," they lost the ability to get it right, and the franchise promptly drove right into a ditch. I don't really consider "Destroyer" a sequel to the first film. In my world, they made the 1982 film, and then they never did anything else.
They came close, though. When I was at Ain't It Cool, I wrote many times about my love of the Milius movie, and for our 10,000th story, I posted a sneak peek at the John Milius script for "King Conan: Crown Of Iron," a sequel that was at that point a distinct possibility. Milius wrote it, and the Wachowskis were attached to produce for Warner Bros. It sounded like it got close to happening, but Warner ended up not making it, and the film vanished into a development morass.
I honestly believed that any chance at a final Arnold sequel, a return to the storyline established in the '82 film, had disappeared with the release of the Jason Momoa film last year. When I read the news today that Chris Morgan is going to be writing and producing, and that he's got Schwarzenegger onboard, I noticed that Fredrick Malmberg is still onboard as a producer as well. Malmberg has been involved for at least 12 years now. He was the other producer on "King Conan: Crown Of Iron," and he was the one who kept it alive at Warner Bros. for a few years, just as he was the one who eventually moved on and got the Lionsgate movie made. I've talked to Malmberg over the years, and I truly believe that he loves Conan and that he also sees the Conan property as a valuable media asset, and that his enthusiasm for the project is genuine.
In the Deadline piece, Malmberg said, "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.”
Talking about his approach, Morgan seemed to be very serious about his approach, and he said things that hit me exactly right as a Milius fan. “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.'"
Conan's "Unforgiven"? Okay, that's it. I'm in.
We'll keep an eye on this, and hopefully we'll have more on it as the film develops.
Moriarty wrote:Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
This marks the ten thousandth time since Harry started AICN out of the back bedroom of Geek Headquarters that we have asked you to give us your attention, your trust, and your time. It’s been a long strange trip so far from our end, and I personally feel like I’m still just getting the hang of things. Over the course of every story I’ve contributed, one thing has always been true: I’ve enjoyed the hell out of this, and I can’t see that changing any time soon. I love this dialogue with all of you, this ongoing daily excuse to immerse myself in films and television and books and comics and all the other objets d’art that fall under scrutiny here at the site.
This past week, Harry and I both had chances to read scripts that have been the subject of intense geek curiosity. Harry is still buried under the intense bombardment of QT5, though, and is a greedy bastich besides, willing to keep all his goodies for himself. Not me, folks. Nope. I’m on your side. Remember that when the revolution comes. Ahem. Remember who decided to share the wealth a little bit, if you know what I mean. I decided to mark this occasion, this milestone of ours, by bringing you something special, something worthy.
Something like your first look at the May 21, 2001 draft of KING CONAN, CROWN OF IRON, written by John Milius, 146 pages of Robert E. Howard-inspired carnage and treachery.
Sound good? Keep reading.
We got our first report on this title back in March of this year, and our first report about the development itself in July of last year. I remember being giddy as I typed the title out for the first time. KING CONAN, CROWN OF IRON. Just the idea that John Milius might finally make a proper sequel to his stupendous 1982 film CONAN THE BARBARIAN pleased me enormously.
Yes, yes, I know there already was a sequel. Hell, there’s a guy right now who is working to organize a petition to get CONAN THE DESTROYER released on DVD as a longer R-rated cut, complete with love scenes between Sarah (SUPERMAN II) Douglas and Arnold. You can sign his petition here!! I’m not a fan of that film, though, and when I think of CONAN, I think of two things... the original Robert E. Howard stories, and the film by John Milius.
Last July 4th, I wrote a comparison of Oliver Stone’s CONAN draft and Milius’ original movie. It was a chance to express how much I love that film, and even though I’ve seen it dozens of times since its release, it turns out I made some glaring errors in regards to plot and the film's two swords. Funny... even when you adore a film, who’s to say you’re right about everything in it? That was one of those cases where I genuinely learned from the Talk Backers, and it was obvious from the passionate responses that were posted that there’s a lot of people who feel about that film the same way I do, who love it dearly. When the special edition DVD for CONAN THE BARBARIAN was released, Milius and Arnold talk about KING CONAN and their original plans for a trilogy during the commentary track. This set off all sorts of speculation, and tracing the development of the film has become a personal mission of mine. I’ve been parched for tidbits about it, and then, all of a sudden, someone drops this script in my lap.
I’ve read it four or five times now, and each time, I put on the Basil Poledouris score for the original film and turn it up, letting the music curl around me like a blanket. Right away, just looking at the cover of the script, it’s obvious that Milius is the right man for the job, thrilled to be back and working with this character. There’s Xeroxed pages of Frank Frazetta artwork interspersed throughout the script, setting the tone perfectly, pointing at the world Milius is trying to recreate for us. If there’s any doubt about whether this is a sequel to the first film or not, the voice-over by THE WIZARD should dispel that right away. Mako’s character did the voice-over at the beginning and the end of the original movie, with his memorable, “Let me tell you of the days of hiiiiiigh adventure!” Using him again is enough to clue fans in from that opening frame that they’re in for another visit to that world, to that vision of Howard’s work.
”Sit on the ground with me. Let the fire warm you and I will sing of greed, deceit, lust, and power. Ha! But that is not all. I sing of loyalty, honor, and love. Yes, love, for that is what makes men foolish or great. You may choose.”
The film’s opening finds CONAN older, disheveled and bearded, alone in “A Northern Land of the Picts.” He huddles by a fire during the night, trying to stay alive in a snowy land. By day, he moves through a strange forest where he ends up chasing the mysterious alluring figure of a woman enshrouded in mist. When he finally catches up to her, he is hypnotized by this woman wrapped only in gauze, this Daughter of the Snows. She touches his face, burning him with frost where her fingers passed. “Some say I am the Frost Giant’s daughter,” she says. “You are one I could love. But first, you must fight my brothers.” And just like that, we’re into it.
Conan dispatches these two giants in a vicious flurry of moves, then lays with the girl, taking his reward. Afterwards, she orders him to leave her land before the Ice Worm finds him. Conan says he will fight the Ice Worm, but she won’t have it. She says she has given Conan her love, and now she wants him to repay her. “Bring me the jewels of an Empire. Bring these and I will give you your son.”
He heads west to the sea, where he becomes a pirate, pillaging and raping his way to the Eastern border of civilization, where he and his men join a massive gathering of barbarians to meet GAIUS METALLUS, the Aquilonian Tribune, a cultured warrior in golden armor. He speaks on behalf of Emperor Tisus, offering the barbarians gold, glory, and citizenship if they will fight for the Aquilonian army. Conan is the first to volunteer, and Metallus becomes a mentor to him, training the barbarians to work not as individuals in a fight, but as part of a massive chain, unbreakable and strong as long as it is united. They go into battle and are indeed indefeatable. Conan rises quickly, a hero, a perfect soldier, and when Metallus returns to Aquilonia, his own rank increased now as a result of his success with the Legion, he leaves Conan in charge.
Conan wins even more victories as general of the Legion, and when he and Metallus meet again in a battle, they win a great, bloody victory. Conan is rewarded with jewels and riches to spare, and Metallus notices how Conan puts most of it away, as he always does. He asks why, and Conan explains about his son, his desire to go get him. Metallus gives him leave to go back to that Pict wasteland, to get what’s his. When he finds the Daughter of the Frost and gives her all the jewels he has, she is impressed, but she wants something that has meaning for Conan. She asks for the Eye of the Serpent, the stone he wears around his own neck. Fans of the first film will remember the gem, and they’ll know the significance of his still having it. Even this is worth nothing compared to his own flesh and blood, though, and Conan gives it to her. As Conan goes to walk away with the boy, the woman reveals something to him: ”The boy is not yours. He will never be. You may take him, but that is the Ice Worm’s seed that grew in me. You only served him that night as I wished. He is the son of the Ice Worm.”
Conan doesn’t listen, though. He takes the boy and returns to the Zingaran Legion. Kon, as he is named, spends his childhood running with the Legion, learning about life in the face of death. Battlefields are his playgrounds, and by the time he is seven, he is already a strong, somber child. He and Conan visit Tarantia, the capital of the world, a giant city, beautiful, the cradle of civilization. Sitting on a hill, looking down at this marvel of man’s hand, Conan and his son talk, and I couldn’t help but recall that great moment at the beginning of CONAN THE BARBARIAN, when a young Conan listens to his own father talk about Crom and the riddle of steel.
They say the gods live here.
I thought they lived in the mountains?
Our god does. He sits on a cliff in the cold and watches.
Can he see us here?
Even here where the wind is warm and the smells of food and spice, where men wear silk and brocade and women wear little or nothing. Yes, he watches us in places like this.
He turns to Kron, kneels down.
Remember how I showed you my father’s sword?
It was not my father’s. I broke my father’s sword with mine. He told me to trust steel, not men, women, animals. I trust nothing but my will and instinct. Trust no one, Boy... not any of this.
If gods live here, they are treacherous and dark. Trust no one but the wind and the cold night sky. Make them your friends and you won’t need this. You won’t need me.
I’ll always need you, father.
Tears fill his eyes.
No... someday you must break my sword. Now let us go and eat their beeves and pigs and watch their women dance for us.
That exchange not only ties us into the first film, it also expands upon it. Conan trusted steel in the first film, and it cost him. By the time he learned to trust Valeria, she was gone. The only way he learned to trust his friends was by dying and having them fight to drag him back to life. The Conan in this movie has gone through those dark moments, and he has survived, and this worldview of his is informed by those things. When Metallus informs Conan that the Emperor has chosen to make him the King of Zingara, it makes sense. This Conan is ready to be a leader of men. He is ready to leave behind the blood of battle for the comforts of a crown. He doesn’t realize that there is a price attached until he goes to leave the city. Metallus informs Conan that Kon will stay behind and be raised at the Academy of War with the finest sons of Aquilonia. Conan’s last glimpse of his son is as he rides out the front gates of the city. Kon is held at the wall, tears streaming down his cheeks, by an Aquilonian officer. Conan only has time to lock eyes with his son for a moment before they ride past, then on to Messantia.
Life is hard for both father and son as they grown into these new roles fate has cast for them. Kon finds himself being schooled alongside Fortunas, the Emperor’s son, and there’s immediate animosity between the two. Fortunas has to grown into the role of a natural leader; Kon was born to it. The only way Fortunas can handle Kon’s presence is to break him, to constantly make him look bad. For Conan, ruling a land is not what he expected, and it is only by listening to those close to him, like the warrior Michaes, that he is able to bring some sense of order and even peace to Messantia. Conan and Kon write letters to each other, but the mail gets shut down somewhere in the middle, and Kon grows up thinking that his father has forgotten him, his heart growing harder with each year that slips by without word.
And keep in mind... all of this is before page 33 of the script.
That’s where Milius reintroduces The Wizard, brought along during a negotiation between Conan and another King. Conan asks for the Wizard as part of the bargain, and is reunited with his old friend, his loyal servant. He needs someone he can trust as the Emperor uses Conan like a chess piece, manipulating him from a distance, allowing him to serve in name only. All glory is the Emperor’s; all failure is Conan’s. Kon reaches manhood and joins the Imperial Cavalry, and in his mind, Metallus has become his father, his protector. If he spares any thought to Conan now, it is of betrayal long buried. Conan, feeling disconnected from his people, has The Wizard disguise him so he can walk among them at night.
Slowly, KING CONAN, CROWN OF IRON draws all these story threads together, using that first half-hour to lay the groundwork that allows the rest of this story to play out so well. This is about Conan learning to negotiate a different kind of battle, more subtle, more dangerous. This is the kind of battle where you cannot see your enemy’s face, where you are never sure who your friend is, and who truly stands at your back, ready to help. When Fortunas takes the throne after the death of his father, the script really picks up. A beautiful woman, Countess Zulieka, is sent to serve as Aquilonian Magistrate in Conan’s court, and to keep an eye on him both by day and by night. Metallus professes to be Conan’s friend, helping him rise in rank, even as he insinuates himself with Conan’s son, making sure to keep them from having any contact. Fortunas forces Metallus into a position where he must prove his loyalty to either the Emperor or Conan, and Fortunas also brings Kon close to him, even though he may be harboring an old grudge, preparing to strike.
Milius makes many references to his original film, and one subplot in particular ties the films together, with Conan still pining for Valeria, his fallen lover and fellow fighter. On one of his nightly excursions, he spies Aeldra, a woman who owns a local tavern. Her husband is dead, and she is alone in the world. She also happens to be the spitting image of Valeria, twenty years older, but still strong and beautiful. He is immediately drawn to her, tortured by the idea that this is a second chance for him to have something he lost long ago.
There’s enough story here for three films, and it’s all solid stuff. I love certain sequences, particularly an attempted assassination of Conan that turns into a bloody battle sequence that rages for ten pages. I love the world that Milius is writing about, the way things work. The political machinations of this world are as interesting as the battles themselves, and that’s important. This isn’t built for an attention-deficit-disorder suffering audience like so many of the action films of today. This is an elaborate story that expands the mythology of this character, that takes its time, erupting in furious flurries of violence from time to time, but always interested in telling a real story, complex and demanding. I love characters like General Nicomdeia Scauria Carnifexia, also known as “The Butcher,” a giant, brutal woman “famous for her lack of mercy and sexual enjoyment of conquest and slaughter.”
Milius brings Kon face to face with the truth about his parentage, and it is stranger than even that opening suggests. He brings Conan face to face with the treachery around him and forces him to become a true leader of men again in action, rather than just words. There is a speech that Conan gives to his troops that is truly beautiful writing, chilling, and when I learned what the significance was of the Crown of Iron... well, let’s just say it’s worth the wait. Milius lets the subplot about Conan and Aeldra build to a lovely conclusion, and one exchange between them in particular nearly broke my heart, it’s so perfect.
There’s a line in the original CONAN THE BARBARIAN that I dearly love, a quiet moment just before the final major battle. It’s just Conan by himself, praying to Crom. Fans know the dialogue by heart: “Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought and why we died. All that matters is that today, two stood against many. Valor pleases you, so grant me this one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, the HELL with you!”
Well, there’s another prayer here in another quiet moment just before battle, and even though this is an early draft and there are rewrites already underway, I hope this is one of those things that makes it through intact:
Crom! Again we are here. One thing I know... you are watching, you old wolf! The odds are long again, you enjoy that. If I die, we will meet in Valhalla, I will eat at your table. And if I live, you will find other ways to torture me.
Conan salutes the sky.
I hope you enjoy it!
I did more than enjoy this script. I devoured it. I pray that Warner Bros. is successful enough with LORD OF THE RINGS that they give Milius the greenlight to make this film. It’s an epic adventure he’s written here, and the biggest surprise of the whole thing for me was the last paragraph on the last page, when I realized that Milius is still determined to make his CONAN trilogy. I’ll delete a few names to preserve a bit of mystery about what happens in this film:
But there is more! Conan, NAME DELETED, NAME DELETED, and NAME DELETED must find their destiny in the great struggle to come. This too will be told in BENEATH MY SANDALED FEET, the final installment of R.E. Howard’s CONAN.
Bottom line: I love this script. I am dying to know what is being done to it now as Milius works on a second draft. I’m sure there’s a million ways Milius can make it even better than it is now, but as it stands, this is a promise fulfilled, a dream realized. For nearly 20 years, I’ve thought back to that image of an older Conan sitting on his throne, and I’ve been driven crazy by the implied sequel that image suggested. Now, finally, the blueprint exists to continue the story in the right way, to make something that not only stands up next to the original but actually enhances it and expands upon it. Milius has it in him to make another great movie, and this script is the proof I’ve been waiting for. Before I go to sleep tonight, I’m going to watch my DVD of the original, and when I close my eyes tonight, I’ll dream of a barbarian army, clashing with the full force of the civilized world, with one shadowy giant at the lead of it all, a crown of iron on his brow, and as I sleep, I am sure that I will smile.
Thanks for reading the first 10,000, everyone. Stick around for the next 10,000, and we promise to try even harder to make it worth your while.
Hey folks, Harry here… Early this year, I spent a couple of days on the set of THE LAST STAND, which marks the former Governor of California’s first feature film star turn. Yes, he’s had his cameos in the two EXPENDABLES films. At the time of this interview, he had shot his cameo in the second one of those, but it had yet to be released.
HK: I hate that I have never gotten to meet Milius. He’s so bigger than life. I’ve listened to every commentary he has done, read everything he has written, read every one of his drafts of unproduced scripts, all sorts of stuff… His KING CONAN was one of those that I was really rooting for, but then the rights got all weird on it.
AS: You mean the one that he wrote… The last…
HK: The older one. I actually think that would still play.
AS: I think it would be a great story, yeah.
HK: I thought it was fantastic.
AS: Now they’ve screwed it up again.
HK: People screw it up, but at the same time if the Millenium guys could get their hands on that script and get you in there to be an older Conan I think it would be magnificent. That’s what the fans wanted. It’s the reason… Momoa, who played Conan, he had the right look, but the director was this guy who didn’t understand that Conan needed to have a little bit of the Devil in him. His eyes needed to light up more, but he never really directed it to that which I thought was a shame.
AS: You’re right. You understand it or you don’t. I mean I’m sure the director did everything he could in his power or his talent, but you know you have to be born for that.
HK: How much do we love samurai films, you know? For us, I mean when Kurosawa said “I can’t make westerns, I have to make samurai movies” it’s like thank God he made samurai movies, because we wound up adapting them and making some of the best westerns.
AS: That’s right. As a matter of fact when we did CONAN, Milius had me watch Mifune movies many times, then SEVEN SAMURAI and movies like that.
HK: You see it in the way you handle your sword in that film. It’s very purposefully Mifune-esque in the way he moves it and the way you move it.
AS: But it’s his whole attitude rather than kind of this guy that is… He sees himself as this great warrior. He is a great warrior, but it’s kind of like he’s all over the place.
HK: No, your drunk scenes are very Mifune-esque.
AS: The way he deals with women, the way he grabs them and…
HK: The way you hit the camel…
AS: See that’s all Mifune. We watched those movies over and over to get a little bit of that kind of personality for me, yeah.
Spandau Belly wrote:One movie. This has a very low chance of being any good. But if it's going to be good, it's as one movie, not a trilogy.
MIKE FLEMING JR wrote:XCLUSIVE:
Universal Pictures has taken a step forward on the reboot of The Legend Of Conan, which will bring Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the brawny king. The studio has closed a deal with Andrea Berloff to write the script. Best known for scripting World Trade Center, Berloff most recently adapted the French action film Sleepless Night for Warner Bros. She also wrote Straight Outta Compton for New Line and is writing a retelling of the King Arthur myth for Disney.
The franchise got a fresh start last October, when Universal and Schwarzenegger got involved, largely because of the passion of Chris Morgan, the scribe/producer who has minted money at the studio writing Fast & The Furious films. He was the one who decided to draw a parallel right back to the original raw, violent Conan films, which ended with the image of the barbarian king sitting atop his throne. The new film is about his efforts to stay there and the final cycle of a life spent obliterating anyone who got in his way. The Legend Of Conan is being produced by Fredrik Malmberg through Paradox Entertainment and Morgan & Emile Gladstone through their Chris Morgan Productions banner. Paradox owns the rights to the Robert E. Howard series, and we’re going to have to give them a mulligan on that ill-advised movie done with Jason Momoa. They are going back to Schwarzenegger, whose career as Hollywood’s top action star was launched by the 1982 Conan The Barbarian, which John Milius directed from a visceral script he wrote with Oliver Stone. That film hatched a 20-minute live action stage show at Universal Studios Hollywood that ran for a decade, and clearly the hope is to re-brand a movie franchise with all the ancillaries that come with success. It’s a big step for Schwarzenegger, who hasn’t exactly crushed it in his attempts so far to reestablish himself as an A-lister after leaving office as the governor of California. Reprises in Conan and The Terminator are his best hopes to get the action mojo back.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Chris and his creative team and to see Arnold Schwarzenegger return in the role that started his career,” said Malmberg. Morgan called Berloff “an amazing writer who can juggle masculine grittiness with extreme emotional depth. Her take on Conan is powerful and genuine and would make Robert E. Howard proud.” Uni co-president of production Jeff Kirschenbaum
Berloff is repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Rob Goldman.
Randy Jennings wrote:While it is an exciting time for Arnold fans with Terminator Genisys on the rise, let’s not forget that Schwarzenegger’s next film project is “what is best in life”! As if we weren’t already pumped enough for The Legend of Conan, we have new word from Chris Morgan and Fredrik Malmberg, the film's producers, telling us the greatest Schwarzenegger cinematic experience is yet to come!
While these gentlemen are fans of Robert E. Howard’s Conan tales, the goal here for The Legend of Conan is to revisit the barbaric world of John Milius. This will not be a reboot nor will it be given a tame film rating, unbefitting of a bitter, barbaric king. The Legend of Conan will in fact be a sequel to Conan the Barbarian, giving us Arnold’s character 30 years later: aged, pissed and battle ready.
Mike Fleming Jr wrote:EXCLUSIVE:
Fredrik Malmberg, who for years was the Hollywood face of Swedish company Paradox Entertainment’s campaign to turn Robert E. Howard properties Conan, Kull The Conqueror, Solomon Kane and others into features, has reconnected with all those properties. Malmberg, who last year left the company after 15 years to hatch the producing shingle Cabinet Entertainment, has acquired Paradox Entertainment Inc in a stock deal.
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