Image: Universal

What is best in life? Deadline has learned that Netflix is developing a live-action series based on Robert E. Howard’s battle-hardened, swords-and-sorcery hero, Conan the Cimmerian. The character was famously portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984), but it isn’t clear whether Netflix will take inspiration from John Milius’s original hit.

“The move would fit into Netflix’s strategy of acquiring globally recognizable IP to build an universe of films and TV series, including Roald Dahl’s novels, The Chronicles of Narnia books and comics publisher Millarworld,” Deadline noted.

“A search is currently underway for a writer/showrunner to pen the Conan adaptation and director to helm the project. Malmberg and Wheeler will serve as executive producers on the potential series through their Pathfinder Media.”

A reboot of Conan the Barbarian was released in 2011 with Aquaman’s Jason Momoa in the titular role, but it was a critical and financial flop. Critics argued that Marcus Nispel’s direction paled in comparison to Milius’s, whose action sequences were nothing short of epic. The reliance on CG didn’t help the film, either.

What Conan fans have been wondering is whether Arnold’s long-rumored King Conan will ever get made. The third film is supposed to revolve around a 70-year-old Conan (a perfect fit for the actor) and his ruling days, but rights issues have reportedly put it on hold.

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18 Comments

  1. Yeah he looked the part but the movie sucked

    he wasn’t quite big enough .. growing up on closer to prime Arnold kinda spoiled me I guess, lol.

    But as far as the movie .. it was very forgettable I agree .. but from what I read about it . .that version of Conan was a bit truer to the books then Arnold’s version.

  2. he wasn’t quite big enough .. growing up on closer to prime Arnold kinda spoiled me I guess, lol.

    But as far as the movie .. it was very forgettable I agree .. but from what I read about it . .that version of Conan was a bit truer to the books then Arnold’s version.

    Unfortunately we don’t have any definitive definition of Conan’s appearance other than being "larger and stronger than any other man," which is going to be different depending on who is reading it. He is described as 6′ tall and 180 pounds in one instance, but that is when he was 14. Men typically don’t stop growing until they approach 20. While I don’t think Arnold had the height, he definitely had the muscle mass I would imagine Conan having. Momoa is a little taller, but still not tall enough and his muscle mass is nowhere close to what Arnold’s was in his prime.

  3. I don’t have high hopes for this.

    I still wish they had done the third Conan movie they were supposed to do with Arnold. Unfortunately they rushed, cheaped out and completely screwed up the second movie so a third was never made.

    The attempted reboot was absolutely horrible from what I remember which isn’t much. Jason Momoa while not a bad choice physically didn’t sell me on him being Conan and I’m pretty sure the story was absolute crap.

    While a series would probably be a better format for Conan I don’t know if they’ll do it justice. The Conan stories were good stories. The emphasis is on story. I’ve read most of them and enjoyed them a lot but Conan is supposed to be much more than a sword wielding killing machine. Sure, he’s definitely a killing machine and likes to hack and slash things apart but he’s not a brainless idiot who uses his sword as the solution to every problem. That was really my biggest issue with the original Conan movie; the portrayal of the character was definitely off. However, the original movie is a simple but good story and portrayed so it rolled out like an epic adventure.

    Can they get people in for the series to do justice to the original source material? Maybe. Can Netflix keep from meddling so those people can do it justice and make it entertaining? I have serious doubts.

  4. I guess I don’t know what "injecting corporate beige" means .. I’m just about good story telling :unsure:
  5. I’m impartial if either do it but honestly would prefer neither would if it really came down to it. Sure I’ve enjoyed the Witcher but at 8 eps a season it’s barely got enough time to tell a story that a decent 2+ hour, properly made R-rated movie couldn’t also have done. Therein is also why I don’t want Disney to touch this. It needs to be R-rated. Conan the Destroyer was a great example of how toning it down and forced humor just made things worse. I knew a lot of people who hated the 1st one too because of their own passions for the original books but I and my wife love it. Couldn’t make it through the Mamoa one though.

    edit: BTW the way fans of the original soundtrack should check out HDTracks. They’ve got it in 24/96 and it sounds amazing!

  6. I still wish they had done the third Conan movie they were supposed to do with Arnold

    I remember years back when all those 80’s action stars were riding high after The Expendables and it was announced he was taking this project back up again. So excited then and so bummed it never happened. Whether from the books or Roy Thomas stories, there are some great King Conan stories to tell.

    edit: Last thing I’ll say on this tonight. Always crack up when I’ve seen Arnold mention how he used to punish his kids by making them watch Red Sonja.

  7. I’m impartial if either do it but honestly would prefer neither would if it really came down to it. Sure I’ve enjoyed the Witcher but at 8 eps a season it’s barely got enough time to tell a story that a decent 2+ hour, properly made R-rated movie couldn’t also have done. Therein is also why I don’t want Disney to touch this. It needs to be R-rated. Conan the Destroyer was a great example of how toning it down and forced humor just made things worse. I knew a lot of people who hated the 1st one too because of their own passions for the original books but I and my wife love it. Couldn’t make it through the Mamoa one though.

    edit: BTW the way fans of the original soundtrack should check out HDTracks. They’ve got it in 24/96 and it sounds amazing!

    I can understand why people had issues with Conan the Barbarian compared to the original Howard stories. They changed many details and mixed up a lot of the stories when making the movie. Still, it was a good movie and in my opinion did at worst a decent job of telling a Conan story in movie format. It was an epic tale told well in the spirit of the original Conan stories.

    I’ll admit that I saw the movie long before reading the Howard stories so I didn’t have any preconceptions beforehand. I simply enjoyed the movie and still watch it somewhat regularly the last time being probably three months ago.

    I also listen to some of the tracks from the soundtrack. One of the best movie soundtracks ever.

    I remember years back when all those 80’s action stars were riding high after The Expendables and it was announced he was taking this project back up again. So excited then and so bummed it never happened. Whether from the books or Roy Thomas stories, there are some great King Conan stories to tell.

    edit: Last thing I’ll say on this tonight. Always crack up when I’ve seen Arnold mention how he used to punish his kids by making them watch Red Sonja.

    I was also hoping the last Arnold Conan movie would be made but never had any expectation of it. He wouldn’t have been the young Conan anymore but there was no reason he needed to be. As king he was well into middle age and it would have been the perfect sendoff to the series since from the first movie it was known he’d be king.

    If memory serves, Red Sonja was a way to make the third contractual Conan movie without it being an actual Conan movie. He is playing Conan in the movie but the name is never said. That wasn’t the only reason it was made but I think it was the only reason Arnold was in the movie at all. It’s definitely not a good movie, especially since they gave it the Conan the Destroyer treatment trying to make it family friendly, but I still occasionally watch it just for the hell of it.

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