Lionsgate's Conan Movie on the Fast Track with New Writers
by Alex Billington
August 13, 2008
One of the biggest bits of news today surrounds two writers: Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain. The two have been hired by Lionsgate to write a new script for the Conan the Barbarian movie that's been hiding in the shadows for years. After finishing a script titled Amazon about female warriors with Scarlett Johansson attached, the two were brought on to work on a Conan script separate from the original two writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. Now Lionsgate is anxious to get this into production right away and are trying to launch a franchise by making it a $100 million R-rated origin film. "We all want this movie to go into production as soon as possible. It's a fast-tracked movie."
Blackman and McCain, who wrote the sci-fi flick Outlander as well as the upcoming Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, are not going to be venturing back into the same territory as Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1982 Conan the Barbarian movie. Instead, they're going all the way back to Robert E. Howard's pulp stories first published in the 1930s. Producer Fredrik Malmberg explains: "Fans expect (these types of movies) to be more true to the source material. There's no reason there couldn't be a Conan movie every two years. He's almost like Batman: He's a dark hero. He's a hard hero. He has to be badass, but we also have to like him." Interesting comments from an ambitious producer, let's just hope it turns out that way.
The most integral part of this new Conan movie is the director and unfortunately they still haven't chosen one. If we put two and two together, back at Comic-Con, Robert Rodriguez sort of announced that he would be producing "the" Conan movie alongside of Red Sonja with Rose McGowan. However, considering Rodriguez's name isn't anywhere to be seen in this news, I'm not sure if it's the same movie or not. Iif Rodriguez is involved, let's hope it's someone from his arsenal that ends up getting the gig, otherwise I fear that Lionsgate may be throwing this away if some inexperienced guy directs it. I'm actually pretty excited for this return of Conan, but let's hope it doesn't get butchered. Will this turn out any good?