If there are two things we’ve learned about Hollywood this year, they are: 1) No license is too old, or too strange, to adapt for the big screen; and 2) The studios never met a franchise they didn’t like. The folks who manage the film rights for Conan the Barbarian are aware of this, and after trying for seven years to get a new Conan film made at Warner Bros., have taken their marbles and gone home. Or to Millennium Films, as the case may be.
According to Variety, the relationship between Warners and Conan’s team at Paradox Entertainment broke down this spring, when Paradox’s CEO declined to renew the studio’s option and placed the rights back on the open market. Though finding a new home took a little doing — Paradox is looking for a quick turnaround, and was asking for a lot of money besides — the potential franchise has landed at Millennium (home of Sylvester Stallone’s forthcoming Rambo sequel), and is scheduled to start production by next spring.
The folks at Millennium have their work cut out for them; as the article notes, the project had no shortage of would-be shepherds during its time at Warners:
Putting together a big-scale project from scratch on such a tight timetable won’t be easy. WB invested seven years of sweat, with top-shelf names like Larry and Andy Wachowski, John Milius (who directed the original from a script he co-wrote with Oliver Stone) and Robert Rodriguez all writing drafts. Boaz Yakin penned the last one.
One factor the article doesn’t mention is casting, which will present its own challenges. Not only was Arnold Schwarzenegger about as perfect a Conan as Hollywood’s ever likely to find, but action stars in general aren’t as big as they were during the muscled-up ’80s. So we ask you, residents of the Vine: Who would you cast as the axe-wielding, loincloth-rocking barbarian?