Not only has Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to Hollywood, he’s doing so with a vengeance, with a reprisal of his role as Conan the Barbarian the latest addition to his increasingly busy slate.
Schwarzenegger will team up with Universal to revive the flagging franchise with The Legend Of Conan , a follow-up story that will gloss over the events of the Arnie-starring sequel and the disappointing 2011 reboot.
“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior,” says producer Fredrik Malmberg, “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.”
Screenwriter Chris Morgan is currently hard at work on the script, and can’t quite believe his luck from the sounds of his gushing tribute to the original.
“After the original seminal movie, all that came after looked silly to me,” says Morgan. “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 .”
Universal is apparently pencilling this one in for 2014, so expect to hear word on a director and supporting cast in the next few months. Until then, we’ll leave the last word to Arnie…
“I always loved the Conan character and I’m honoured to be asked to step into the role once again,” says Schwarzenegger. “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.”
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