Paradox Entertainment President and CEO Frederik Malmberg recently spoke about the plans to bring The Legend of Conan to the big screen. Fans who want to see Arnold Schwarzenegger return to the title role can rest assured that the movie is “100% happening” according to Malmberg. He also gave up some information on the film’s plot points, possible co-stars, balance of practical versus digital effects work and the possibility of releasing the film in 3D. Hit the jump to see what’s up with The Legend of Conan.
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 exteamily [sic] 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 (Arnold) and he’s very involved with the whole Universal team. It’s the best team they have. Arnold has been very instrumental to being 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.
While numerous directors have expressed interest in helming the picture, Malmberg stressed that the focus right now is on getting the story right. But as for possible co-stars:
There’s Sven-Ole [Thorson]…he’s a cool guy. I guess at this point, there’s definitely some room for that but it has to make sense and it can’t be cheesy. It has to be very believable and it’s also crucial to Arnold that this is not too much of a throwback and yet it pays homage…it should pay some respect to the original movies but there has to be a real reason for it.
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. In the stories and you can also see it when he’s sitting on the thrown and the narration on that last scene of the movie…”with a troubled brow” …you can tell he’s not really happy being king. So, it’s time for him to go out and do battle … 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 passing the torch? The idea is to not. No, this is Conan’s movie. This is Arnold’s movie!
On the practical side of things Malmberg also addressed the effects focus and the very real possibility of 3D:
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 splendor … 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. It’s a working machine with everyone and marketing people. 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.
Be sure to head over to The Arnold Fans for more from Malmberg on The Legend of Conan.