Arnie returns for “The Legend of Conan”

Yes, I want to say… Yes.

This is what must be made. True franchises, creative and good scripts in a continuum that makes sense and looks real. Why? Because they are not goddamned reboots or remakes or reimaginations or whatever. The same actor\actress in the same universe, with a preferably better storyline and an emerging bigger picture.

You will remember him, at the final scene of John Milius’s epic, sitting on his throne, surrounded by glowing red mist, decked out in shiny armor, thinking about all the enemies he’s crushed, all the people he drove before him, and all the lamentation of their women.

Forget Milius’ draft for King Conan: Crown of Iron. Universal Pictures, which has worldwide rights and released the first film, has done a deal with Paradox Entertainment to bring Arnold Schwarzenegger back in “The Legend Of Conan” .

This isn’t a reboot or reimagination of Robert E. Howard’s mythology like last year’s “Conan” starring Momoa. It also may ignore or bypass the 1984 sequel “Conan the Destroyer”. Instead it’s a direct sequel to John Milius’ original classic “Conan the Barbarian,” one that shows King Conan on the throne of Aquilonia. It’s that brilliant movie with that brilliant soundtrack – although Arnie’s Conan is slightly different than Howard’s – that launched Schwarzenegger’s film career back in 1982 as well as a wave of fantasy films and if you did not watch it yet, guys it’s about friggin’ time.

And now the bad news: the studio reportedly wants this out fast with a Summer 2014 release date already set.

“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” says producer Fredrik Malmberg. “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.”

Chris Morgan (“Fast Five,” “Wanted”) has created the story and nicknames it “Conan’s Unforgiven.” They’ve yet to figure out whether the film will be R-rated like the original, but they very much intend to keep the darker and more brutal elements depicting the hardship of the original’s setting. We don’t know if characters like Conn, Taurus, Trocero, Prospero or Zenobia will be in the movie or not.

A shame that Poledouris passed away.

When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

-Hyborian poem “The Road of Kings”

As long as you, Malmberg, remember that Conan worships Crom, not Odin.



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