Saturday, October 18, 2008

Conan Movie News! (Sort of...)

There are a ton of rumors floating around in the wake of the San Diego Comic Con in regards to the on-again-off-again production of a new Conan movie. Here's a little sampling of what was being said by Red Sonja director/producer, Robert Rodriquez...

Robert Rodriguez Producing Conan

"We're currently live at the Comic-Con panel for Red Sonja with Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and Doug Aarniokoski and have an exciting new update for fans! A few weeks ago we officially announced that Rodriguez would be producing a Red Sonja movie with McGowan starring and Robert's ex-second unit director Douglas Aarniokoski directing. Robert and Rose's discussion, which focused on how all three of them have been huge fans of Robert E. Howard's work for ages, eventually touched briefly on the upcoming Conan movie. Rodriguez mention that details have already spilled about Conan and that he might either produce or direct that movie as well in combination with Red Sonja. If you're unfamiliar with these two stories, they come from Howard's same universe.

Over the last year, various directors have been rumored to be involved on the Conan movie, from Hitman's Xavier Gens to Rob Zombie. However, it sounds like since Red Sonja and Conan are so similar, that Rodriguez might produce and Doug Aarniokoski might direct both the Conan and Red Sonja movies, which definitely makes both of these a lot more exciting as back-to-back features! This isn't officially confirmed nor announced by any studio, but Rodriguez said that it will probably happen. And if you need any encouragement, Aarniokoski explained that Red Sonja is 'going to be unlike anything you've seen, that is for sure!' With the enthusiasm I'm hearing from McGowan and Rodriguez during this panel, I'm actually excited to hear this news and hope that they can show us how awesome the Conan universe could be!"

Hmmm... and this is from

"Robert Rodriguez has been a fan of Robert E Howard, and his characters since he picked up his first issue of Savage Sword Of Conan 60 from the grocery store as a youngster. He grew up in the area that REH allegedly used as inspiration for Cimmeria and plans to take the film in the direction of the original REH works rather than the previous Red Sonya film. The man seems to be born for the job, and is up to the task

He wrote his own Conan script a few years back was unable to have it go anywhere. Then he mentioned that he is in talks with Millenium to produce a future Conan film and make it part of the same stylistic universe as Red Sonya. When an audience member asked who he would cast as Conan he said Danny Trejo! He was ribbing on his buddy a bit so I cannot be sure if he was serious, but I would be down with Trejo.

He repeatedly mentioned the importance of keeping the character true to form and much talk was given about the violence. When asked if the film would be PG-13 he responded by saying "It will be double R".

Rose McGowan beamed about playing the character. McGowan said she loved to play both strong female characters, and stories about the underdog. Red Sonya will be an origin story that she described as HARD, COLD, DIRTY AND BLOODY!

Rodriguez will be producing this picture and have long time friend (and associate director since Four Rooms) Douglas Aarniokoski take the director's chair. Rodriguez and Aarniokoski both commented that Robert will do double duty directing as well. The two of them have been bantering about doing a Red Sonya film for years and when Rose was passed a script everything snapped together like it was meant to be.

Everyone on the panel was excited bout this film. This project seemed to come together like it was fulfilling a prophecy and my anticipation for the film has shot up 100 fold. One of the promotional posters has Red licking blood off of a sword; I think this sums up best what the direction of this film will be (pictures to follow)

As a parting thought, the concept art for Red Sonja was fantastic. The outfit consists of a chain-mail bikini, metal bracers and arm bands. The outfit was sexy and bad ass."

This is Danny Trejo, by the way...


I have to admit that I'm nervous about Rodriguez putting Conan in Red Sonja's "stylisitc universe". First of all, Red Sonja is not a Robert E. Howard character. She was created by Marvel Comics writer Roy Thomas. And secondly, she should fit into his universe! And the word "stylistic" just makes me worried.

Anyway, in other news...

Djimon Hounsou to Play Thulsa Doom

"Djimon Hounsou's "dream project" has finally been confirmed in the trades. Variety reports that Hounsou is pairing up with Dynamite Entertainment to star in and produce a movie about Thulsa Doom, nemesis of King Kull and Conan the Barbarian.
The character originally appeared in Robert E. Howard's story Delcardes' Cat, and is getting his own comic book series (courtesy of Dynamite) next year.

You probably remember Thulsa Doom as being played by the incomparable James Earl Jones in the classic Conan the Barbarian
movie. But if you're a fan of Howard's work, you know that Jones' character didn't resemble the literary one very much. The original Thulsa Doom is an undead sorcerer with the face of a skull, with eyes of fire, and all kinds of scary powers.

So, unless Hounsou is going to bury his handsome face behind make-up or CGI, the new Thulsa Doom will be more in line with Jones' character, and another departure from Howard's original pulp stories. Already, they are looking to make a demonic villain more inviting, as Hounsou's film will show how the once heroic Doom went all mean and nasty. Just once, wouldn't it cool to have a movie about a demonic sorcerer who happily eschewed the straight and narrow? Thank goodness J.R.R. Tolkien left no such wiggle room with Sauron or Morgoth, eh?"


Wow.... really? Thulsa Doom gets his own movie? What's next... Subotai: Thief and Archer! Rated PG-13...

The grumblings of the fans over at the Conan Forum about all this movie news is not pretty. So many Conan fans are dying for a gritty, true-to-the-source Conan movie and now all they're being thrown are movies kinda-sorta related to Conan, but ultimately, when all is said and done, not Conan. It's like craving a large pepperoni deep dish pizza and settling for microwaveable pizza rolls.

I'm worried we're all going to be left hungry until we really get what we crave.

And there's still no news about the release of the animated Red Nails movie... but I'll try to keep eveyone here posted.

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