Conan the Cimmerian has been a long standing character of fiction, dating back to 1932. Created by Robert E. Howard, Conan began crushing his enemies in pulp magazines like Weird Tales, and soon branched across all media with books, comics, cartoons, TV series, and movies. In 1982, we were presented with probably the most well-known and loved rendition of the character.
Conan the Barbarian featured Arnold Scwarzenegger in the title role, and pretty much started his ridiculously powerful action movie career. Not only is Conan the Barbarian a fine example of the character, it gave most of us our first taste of the legend to be known as Ah-nuld. He returned in the sequel, Conan the Destroyer, which is probably the best Conan movie ever made (unfortunately you can’t hear my sarcasm). We saw another rendition more recently with Jason Momoa taking over the title role. It was okay, but it certainly wasn’t Ah-nuld.
Recent news has dropped that not only will Universal Pictures be revisiting the classic character, but Ah-nuld himself will be reprising the role that he made famous. Deadline reports on the plans for The Legend of Conan:
“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 has also been some talk regarding the possible plan to disregard not only the latest remake (which is a no-brainer) but also the original sequel, Conan the Destroyer. I think the wording doesn’t necessarily point towards the dismissal of Destroyer, as much as it focuses on just another stop in the life of Conan.
“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.”
Not a bad way to look at it. However I am a little dubious on Arnold returning to fighting form to accurately portray the warrior king Conan. I mean, most of Conan the Barbarian is spent shirtless, and I seem to remember a few paparazzi photos that showed off Ah-nuld’s aged and cheese filled torso. So it makes sense to doubt the physicality of the character. Of course, we didn’t recently see our first image from David Ayer’s upcoming Ten starring a kick ass looking Ah-nuld, which makes it a bit easier to believe he can still look badass.
So while my feelings on the return of Ah-nuld to Conan may be conflicted, I am certainly still feeling a little excited to see the return of the Barbarian in all his glory. Even Ah-nuld himself seems excited.
“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.”
You read that in Ah-nuld’s voice didn’t you? Plans are to have the film ready by 2014, but we’ll learn more as this develops. For now re-acquaint yourself with the original series, and if you don’t have time for that you can watch the equally awesome musical below.
What do you think of Ah-nuld reprising the role of Conan? Sound off in the comments section!