There’s been talk for years now of Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role from Conan the Barbarian in a new film that chronicles the famed warrior’s twilight years, but according to The Legend of Conan screenwriter Chris Morgan, Conan won’t be the only character to return for another adventure if the project makes it to the screen.
Not only will The Legend of Conan (its unofficial title) serve as a sequel to director John Milius’ epic film that helped launch Schwarzenegger’s acting career, but it will bring back several characters from the original 1982 film, said Morgan in an interview with fan site The Arnold Fans.
“Without naming names… it’s at least three,” said Morgan when asked whether there might be any other familiar faces returning for the upcoming film. “And you’re gonna love them!”
Morgan, who’s best known for his work as a writer and producer on the Fast & Furious movies, will also serve as a writer and producer on The Legend of Conan, which will be set at least 30 years after the events of Conan the Barbarian. Pressed to provide some details about the film’s tone and whether it will follow a similar “R”-rated path as the 1982 film, Morgan dismissed the idea that fans should brace for the possibility of a “light-hearted” adventure with Conan.
“A light-hearted Conan?! CROM! No,” responded Morgan. “Our tone is a logical extension of the character established in the ’82 film… but 30 years later. When we meet him again, Conan has been many things over the course of his life — a thief, a warrior, a pirate, a king, a legend — and is now an older man. Think Unforgiven with a sword-wielding barbarian.”
The creation of pulp-fiction author Robert E. Howard, Conan the Barbarian debuted in a 1932 issue of Weird Tales magazine and went on to become a multimedia sensation with various novels, television series, comic books, and movies over the years that chronicled his adventures during the fictional Hyborian Age. Howard and his Cimmerian barbarian are credited with launching the “sword and sorcery” genre of storytelling.
Milius directed and co-wrote with Oliver Stone the 1982 movie that cast a then-unknown Schwarzenegger as its titular protagonist. Schwarzenegger went on to reprise the role in the 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer, which continued the character’s adventures but failed to achieve the lofty critical and commercial success of its predecessor. There’s no word on whether that film’s events will factor into The Legend of Conan.
“Milius was a visionary. And a hero of mine,” said Morgan of the 1982 film’s director. “He established a milieu that is stunning and violent and clear — incomparable. The goal, the dream, is to live up to his world. To make it worthy. And to expand on it in a truthful way that audiences will embrace.”
“We’re very lucky that the architects of this new film — the writer, the producers, the studio and most of all, Arnold — who is Conan — are all first-generation fans who either worked on the film or who came along for the ride, cheering from their theater seats opening night,” he continued. “We plan nothing more than to immerse ourselves in the world Milius envisioned from Robert E. Howard’s unforgettable stories and Frank Frazetta’s stunning artwork. I can’t give specifics (nobody likes a spoiler!), but know we are honoring the locales, the religions and the traditions of the ’82 film.”
There’s no release date set for The Legend of Conan at this point, but producer Fredrik Malmberg has hinted that he hopes to begin shooting the film later this year.
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