Just minutes after we reported on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new look in David Ayer’s Ten, we get word that the former Governor will return to his roots in The Legend of Conan. The reboot comes from Universal, which has worldwide rights on the film. The studio launched the original film in 1982 with Schwarzenegger as Robert E. Howard’s mythic barbarian. The property hit a bit of a snag with the 2011 reboot Conan the Barbarian with Jason Momoa at Millenium Films, but Universal has high hopes for the new project. Hit the jump for more including the expected storyline of The Legend of Conan.
Deadline reports that Universal and Schwarzenegger are reuniting to bring Conan back to life. The reboot will be produced by Fredrik Malmberg, CEO of Paradox Entertainment, and Universal’s writer and producer, Chris Morgan. Morgan cracked the story and may write the script, but the studio wants the picture on screens in summer of 2014. He previously wrote the screenplay for The Fast and the Furious 6 and has the job for the seventh installment, but may not be finished writing it up by the time Conan roles into production.
On the story front, The Legend of Conan is tied directly to the original, skipping over both the Schwarzenegger sequel and the Momoa misfire (Momoa is not expected to be involved in The Legend of Conan). As Malmberg put it:
“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.”
The film is a dream project for Morgan, who had this to say:
“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 story that they’ve come up with and the passion they’re bringing to the table are both promising for a reboot. A note of concern comes with whether or not the studio will pursue a hard R rating. Morgan again comments:
“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.”
And you can’t have a Conan story without hearing from the man himself. Scharzenegger was quoted as follows:
“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.”