Last year, Universal attempted to reboot a classic 80s action character as Conan The Barbarian was remade with Jason Momoa in the titular role. However, the studio ended up delivering a gigantic bomb that was only matched by the overwhelmingly negative reviews regarding the relaunch, dashing any hopes of starting an all-new franchise.
Meanwhile, 2013 promises to be a big year for Arnold Schwarzenegger as the former Governor returns to the big screen in lead roles for the first time in years. And though hisTerminator return may be derailed due to creative issues, Schwarzenegger will instead be back in an alternative sequel to the action feature that launched his career.
Deadline reports that Universal has inked a deal for Schwarzenegger to return as the titular hero in The Legend of Conan, a sequel to the 1982 classic that will ignore the previous follow-up Conan The Destroyer. The project comes from Chris Morgan (screenwriter for the previous three installments in the Fast & Furious franchise, including the upcoming Fast Six), who is set to be at the very least a producer who will be heavily involved in the development of the film.
Morgan would like to pen the script, of which plot details have yet to be revealed, but may be too busy writing Fast Seven for the studio in order to reach their planned production start to summer or fall of next year.
Fellow producer Fredrik Malmberg told the site, “The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” Malmberg told me. “It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.”
Morgan also offered a few words as well, saying “This movie picks up Conan where Arnold is now in his life, and we will be able to use the fact that he has aged in this story. I love the property of Conan so much that I wouldn’t touch it unless we came up with something worthy. We think this is a worthy successor to the original film. Think of this as Conan’s Unforgiven.” He also stated that they are uncertain whether or not the film will aim to be R-rated, but wants to bring a level of violence the original brought only if it serves the character after developing his own code at the end of the first installment.
Finally Schwarzenegger also released a brief statement on his casting, “I always loved the Conan character and I’m honored to be asked to step into the role once again. I can’t wait to work with Universal and the great team of Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan to develop the next step of this truly epic story.”
Universal has the project on the fast track and wants to have the sequel in theaters for Summer 2014. Momoa will not be involved and no director is currently attached.