The star of the long-dormant franchise offers up his thoughts on the upcoming sequel.
Universal Pictures current Conan project has some fans worried. We already had a new reboot of the franchise from Lionsgate in 2011 with Jason Momoa, and now this film will specifically be ignoring not only that reboot, but also the original sequel to the first Conan the Barbarian film with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Legend of Conan will be a sequel to that 1982 film, picking up the characters where the first film left off.
Conan the Barbarian ended with Conan as the master of his world. He had bested his enemies, bedded the women, and taken the throne for himself. He had a long life of carousing and ruling ahead with nothing to stand in his way.
Conan the Destroyer undid some of that ending, giving the warrior more to fight and overcome, bearing new threats against his kingdom. This is what The Legend of Conan seeks to undo. It wants to tell the story of the Conan from the first film, who has led a long life of untroubled rule and endless access to women and wine - and some pretty good gym equipment, I guess.
The new film sees this Conan at the end of his life, wishing for some final battle, some last raging challenge, a fight in which he would be honored to die. Thus, Schwarzenegger, getting up in years himself now, is a logical choice for the role.
At a press event for his newest film, The Last Stand, the action film star discussed his thought with the crowd. In response to a question from Ain’t it Cool News, he said this about The Legend of Conan, “[Universal] finally came forward, and said, 'You're absolutely right. The previous regime has missed the boat here. We want to pick it up. We're going to buy the rights and we're going to be serious about it and make a quality film with an A-director and with A-writers and so on. And we want you to participate in this. We want you to star and you to play Conan. We're going to take a story where Conan is at that age so it's totally believable and you're not looking like a 30-year old action guy.'" He went on to mention that this film may be shot at least party in New Zealand.
There is no word yet of exactly what the plot of this new Conan film would be, but there is plenty of source material to draw on, as the original Conan stories do eventually delve into his life as an aging king. It would great if they chose to adapt one of those, but an original Conan story could also be interesting, if they have the right people on board. The current screenwriter on the project is Chris Morgan, who has written a few of the Fast and Furious films, and most recently worked on the historical fantasy 47 Ronin, which is currently in post-production.
The Legend of Conan is still in development, but may begin primary photography in the summer or early fall 2013 for a Summer 2015 release.