Legend of Conan producer says the film will be Schwarzenegger's Unforgiven
THE LEGEND OF CONAN will mark the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to his barbaric role for the first time in three decades and has fans very excited. After Jason Momoa's failed reboot of the character, it seemed like we may never see Conan on the big screen again. While some are saying that Arnold is too old to play an effective warrior, his age is being factored into the story.
Producer Chris Morgan was interviewed by IGN and likened THE LEGEND OF CONAN to UNFORGIVEN, the Best Picture winning western starring an aged Clint Eastwood. UNFORGIVEN is widely considered one of the best western films of all time and showed that Eastwood could still kick ass even in his golden years.
With the screenplay still in progress, Morgan explained their goal with THE LEGEND OF CONAN.
I don't want to give away plot, but Conan's Conan to me. Look, for my money, I don't think that the right way. I'm not interested in passing on the torch. It's Conan! It's Arnold Schwarzenegger. We're bringing him back for a reason. When I say Unforgiven, I mean it's a guy who has to come back, and I want him to play his age. I want him to be looking at the later years of his life and have to contemplate this horrific threat. Sitting down and walking through the story with [Schwarzenegger], he's amazing. It's one of the projects that I am incredibly excited about, because I know when you hear Conan and you hear certain things, like the instinct is "There was just a Conan movie and we know those Conan things" -- this is different, I'm telling you. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't perfectly fitting and built off that first movie and if it wasn't awesome, and it's awesome. It's a great character journey. People think it's just going to swords and hacking and effects. It is not. It is a character story. It's awesome.
While they have not sought any directors, Paul Verhoeven has expressed interest in directing THE LEGEND OF CONAN. Hopefully we get someone of that caliber who can deliver a proper sequel to CONAN THE BARBARIAN. I say BARBARIAN because from some indicators, THE LEGEND OF CONAN will be direct sequel to that 1982 movie and not CONAN THE DESTROYER or the 2011 reboot. Morgan had this to say about the reboot.
Look, I think Jason is a really good actor. I love him, especially in Game of Thrones -- holy s***, he's great! But it is what it is. That's the version they set out and did. The version that I am really interested in, the one that I went to Arnold with, and went to the studio with is, it's a different version, and it really is a take on...Conan the Barbarian, people can say what they want about it, I think it's actually a brilliant movie. I think the lack of dialogue in it...I think [John] Milius did such a good job with it, such a good job. There's a lesson about what it is to be a man and a warrior and "What is civilization in barbarism?" and "What do you believe in?" and lessons of life. I think there's so much in that movie that we are now going to be able to jump ahead and build on that foundation that they built, those types of lessons. I think it's going to be something really special and iconic and different than people expect.
With Arnold Schwarzenegger's post-gubernatorial films not doing very well at the box office, some would think that would fare poorly for this and the TERMINATOR reboot. But, it sounds like if any projects are moving forward regardless of box office results for his other films, it is these two. Hopefully we get to see THE LEGEND OF CONAN sooner rather than later.