Everyone is very excited to see Arnold Schwarzenegger return as Conan, and while there has been plenty of talk of the new film, The Legend of Conan, things have gone very quiet over the past six months. Rest assured though that the film is still happening, and Arnie himself said shooting is expected to take place later this year.
While Arnie’s statement may be a little optimistic, Paradox Entertainment president Frederik Malmberg recently spoke with The Arnold Fans and gave an interesting update on The Legend of Conan.
Firstly he spoke about the production of the film, and where it stands right now:
“We’re doing the script and it’s by the whole ‘Fast and the Furious’ team, which is great for a power position of the studio because they’re extremely successful – it was the biggest movie and if anyone knows how to build a franchise, it is that team. It’s Chris Morgan and Jeffery Kirschenbaum, the head of Universal. Arnold is very excited. It’s just in the phase where it takes a lot of work to get the script just right … We have a great story. Everyone loves it. This is a role that’s perfect for him (Arnold) and he’s very involved with the whole Universal team. It’s the best team they have. Arnold has been very instrumental to being this together saying, ‘We gotta make a good Conan!’ I think if we do this right, we can do two more Conan movies right after. I think Game of Thrones also shows a huge interest in fantasy. I’m psyched about it”
Malmberg then spoke of possible names joining Arnie in the cast:
“There’s Sven-Ole [Thorson]…he’s a cool guy. I guess at this point, there’s definitely some room for that but it has to make sense and it can’t be cheesy. It has to be very believable and it’s also crucial to Arnold that this is not too much of a throwback and yet it pays homage…it should pay some respect to the original movies but there has to be a real reason for it”
While producer Chris Morgan has already given plenty of hints at the films story, Malmberg gave his two pence worth:
“The idea is that this takes place AFTER Conan has been king. But this is the legend of Conan where he has been gone and people say, ‘do you remember the good ol’ days when Conan was around?’ And now it’s time for him to come back. In the stories and you can also see it when he’s sitting on the thrown and the narration on that last scene of the movie…”with a troubled brow” …you can tell he’s not really happy being king. So, it’s time for him to go out and do battle … The idea for this particular film is that he will be the lead, a lot of people ask if we’re going to introduce a son of Conan and passing the torch? The idea is to not. No, this is Conan’s movie. This is Arnold’s movie!”
Finally, Malmberg was able to discuss the plans for the films special effects, talking about how much more technology is now available to expand the Conan world:
“With today’s production values, we can probably do a lot more with what they were doing way back then. I mean we have seen what Peter Jackson has done. I think of course this is probably more grounded and less fantastical with less creatures and CG monsters. We want to have some of that fantastical world but we don’t want it to become a complete fantasy because what really set Conan the Barbarian apart from all the other fantasy movies is that this feels like our prehistoric earth. Still, we want to make it full of splendor … It’s on the table and it’s a big studio picture and a big event movie. I wouldn’t rule it out but right now, all we’re concentrating on is the story. It’s a working machine with everyone and marketing people. The president over there at Universal Pictures is Jeffery Kirschenbaum, and he’s one of the top two executive producers and he has a huge position there at Universal and he’s always been a huge Conan fan. ‘I want to make Conan,’ he’s said many times. And it was Universal who launched the first film with Arnold. Now the constellation is aligning”
You can read the entire interview at The Arnold Fans.