With big, fluffy alien ALF making a comeback, it makes sense another gets his spotlight turned back on too.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is – after years of rumours that his kindergarten-induced tumour may have resided long-enough for him to reprise the iconic role – masking his spider veins to play Conan the Barbarian in a third film. Universal house the project, which in-house writer-producer Chris Morgan (of the “Fast & Furious” films) is shepherding.
Schwarzenegger, seemingly intent on pushing himself physically until his head explodes (echoing “get ready for a surprise!” in the direction of his doctors), is excited at the prospect of handling a big sword again.
Producer and rights holder Fredrik Malmberg tells 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,” 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.”
While it has been decided John Milius will be kicked to the curb for this installment, what hasn’t been decided upon is whether the new film will keep the hard R-rated tone of Milius’s “Conan the Barbarian”.
“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.”
Schwarzenegger, who is seemingly skipping “Terminator 5” in favour of “The Legend of Conan” (yup, that’s the title), says “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.”
Meanwhile, Fbook (no, the other one – the one without the pop ups) has published the first pic of a newly redesigned T-800 as he appears in David Ayer’s “Ten”.