Before there was “The Terminator,” “Predator,” “Total Recall,” or “Kindergarten Cop,” there was “Conan the Barbarian.” If you’re a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’ve no doubt heard of the role that transformed him from a champion bodybuilder into a Hollywood megastar.
Even though there was a sequel to the 1982 film, as well as a remake, many fans feel like the muscle-bound Cimmerian’s story remains unfinished. In response to fans, there have been several attempts to make the third installment in the series called “King Conan: The Legend of Conan.”
So far, every attempt to create the project has met with snags, but there’s still plenty of fan interest. In this article, we’ll give you a synopsis of the development of “The Legend of Conan” and go over some facts about Conan and Arnie Schwarzenegger.
Will There Be a New “King Conan: Legend of Conan” Movie?
There have been several adaptations of Robert E. Howard’s iconic character, Conan the Barbarian, throughout the years, including cartoons, video games, Marvel comic books, and an ill-fated remake starring Jason Momoa in 2011.
But Schwarzenegger hasn’t starred as the character since 1984 in the sequel “Conan the Destroyer.” “The Legend of Conan” would feature Conan as an aging king, which many fans believe would be the perfect role for the action star, who’s in his 70s.
Even though there have been many attempts to get “The Legend of Conan” off the ground, it’s unclear whether or not the project will be released. In 2012, it was announced that Universal Pictures was making a “Legend of Conan” film and that Schwarzenegger would be reprising the iconic role.
Chris Morgan, the screenwriter for the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, and Fredrik Malmberg, the producer of “Mutant Chronicles,” were set to produce. But that movie was eventually scrapped because of development and scheduling difficulties. Universal eventually sold their rights to the property.
In 2020, Netflix announced it was producing a TV series featuring Conan, but there’s been no word on what story will be about or if Schwarzeneggar will be involved. Before Netflix bought the rights to the property, Amazon Prime was supposedly working on a Conan project, but it never came to fruition.
Fans to this day are still asking, will there ever be a King Conan movie?
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commentary on a New Conan Movie
In a 2019 interview with TheArnoldFans.com, Schwarzenegger showed interest in playing an older version of Conan, calling the project a “great idea,” but he said it was “sad stuff” that properties like the Robert E. Howard Conan story are sold to young producers who don’t share the vision of the material’s creators. However, he mentioned possibly going to Netflix to get the show produced. Netflix did later purchase the rights to the property.
In the wake of the Capitol riot in January 2021, the action star and former governor of California released a powerful tweet about the division in the United States, relating it to memories from his own childhood, growing up right after WWII. During the almost eight-minute message, Schwarzenegger brandished Conan’s sword, comparing it to the idea of democracy, “The more you temper a sword, the stronger it becomes.”
While the message wasn’t aimed at promoting Conan, it showed that Schwarzenegger still relishes his experience playing the character that made him a household name. And the tweet was enough to renew interest in the character. Many fans replied to the tweet calling for a new Conan film.
About the Conan Character
Robert E. Howard first introduced Conan the Barbarian in the 1930s as the protagonist of a collection of stories he wrote for the publication, Weird Tales. Conan is a huge, super-strong, agile, ruthless, and skilled warrior from Cimmeria, a land located in the far north of the fictional continent of Hyboria. He’s the son of a blacksmith and quickly becomes a fierce fighter.
At the age of 15, he becomes an esteemed warrior among his people by helping secure the outpost of Venarium in a battle with Aquilonia, one of the richest realms in Hyboria. He later leaves Cimmeria in search of adventure and spoils. On his journey, he comes in contact with sorcerers, witches, princesses, and all sorts of mythical creatures.
During his adventures, Conan becomes a pirate and mercenary commander. He leads several troops of soldiers on expeditions to conquer various lands. Many of these attempted conquests ended in failure and the deaths of almost all of his men. He eventually does conquer Aquilonia after killing the former ruler, Numedides.
Many of Conan’s motivations are self-centered. The goals of many of his quests are to secure land, power for himself, or attain some treasure. However, he’s shown to be compassionate toward women, often going out of his way to save them. He’s also a loyal friend and natural leader to his allies.
About Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Past Roles as Conan
Conan was the part that put Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map. As a five-time Mr. Universe winner, his physique made him a believable casting choice to play the massive and ripped warrior. He’s played the role of Conan in two films, “Conan the Barbarian” and “Conan the Destroyer.”
“Conan the Barbarian” was released in 1982 and was directed by John Milius and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. Milius collaborated with writers like Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp to accurately portray Robert E. Howard’s vision on the big screen.
In the film, Conan is captured by Thulsa Doom. Doom is an evil sorcerer who murdered Conan’s parents and annihilated his people. Later, when Doom captures a princess, Conan teams up with Valeria and Subotai to save her and bring down the ruthless wizard. The film was rated R, mainly due to its graphic violence, and was a box office success.
The second film, released in 1984, was called “Conan the Destroyer” and was directed by Richard Fleischer. In the film, Conan and his companion Malak are hired by Queen Taramis to escort Princess Jehnna to awaken the god, Dagoth. Teramis sends the commander of her forces, Bombaata, with the group. Bombaata has orders to double-cross Conan.
“Conan the Destroyer” lightened the original tone and cut out much of the brutality of the first film. The prevailing thought was that a PG rating would make the film palatable to a larger audience. This turned out to be a mistake, as the movie was widely panned by critics and moviegoers alike.
There was set to be a third film about the Howard character in 1987, but Schwarzenegger was busy with other projects, and the film never came to be. The lack of a third Conan film has left fans hungry for closure to the Barbarian’s story.
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At the end of the day, fans will just have to keep waiting to see Schwarzenegger’s triumphant return as Conan. So far, there’s no confirmation that “The Legend of Conan” will be released as a movie, show, or even at all. But with Hollywood’s penchant for rebooting old franchises like “Ghostbusters,” “Indiana Jones,” and “Transformers,” it’s not hard to imagine that a new Conan story is on the horizon.