More on the Conan Movie in Empire and Comic-Con

Earlier in the week, Waldgeist posted on the upcoming snippet and exclusive photo of Jason Momoa’s Conan in the August 2010 issue of Empire. I got the issue today: in addition with apparently conclusive confirmation of Conan’s presence at Comic-Con, there are a few hints of what to expect at San Diego.

Marcus Nispel’s Conan arrives at Comic-Con with something to prove. Fans of Robert E. Howard’s stories have thus far been skeptical about the decidedly non-Howard script (by multiple authors, Sahara writers Josh Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly chief among them), and Nispel’s CV of Platinum Dunes horror remakes and flashily muddled Vikings-versus-Native American epic Pathfinder has done little to inspire confidence.

However, Nispel claims that Conan is a lifelong dream project, and with him at the helm we’re at least assured terrific visuals. Fears of a watered-down fantasy-adventure tone have also been laid to rest by producer Joe Gatta, who assured Empire that the Cimmerian barbarian is aiming his axe squarely at a visceral R rating.

Stargate: Atlantis’ Jason Momoa has taken the title role, boasting a considerably more athletic physique than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic bodybuilding form: this Conan is built for speed. Avatar’s big, bad Stephen Lang is the villainous warlord Khalar Zym; Rachel Nichols is love interest Tamara; Ron Perlman (replacing Mickey Rourke at short notice) is Conan’s dad, Corin; and Rose McGowan is on hand as Marique the Witch.

Conan’s Con presence will be decidedly multimedia,, as the crew from the online PC game Age of Conan will be attending in force, and Dark Horse will be handing out exclusive comics. Plus, “We might have one or two stars making a little appearance,” Conan Properties CEO Fredrik Malmberg reveals, “and we might be able to show some footage. It’s all about what (distributor) Lionsgate allow us to do!”

So overall, it’s fairly optimistic, but commendably well-grounded, especially in addressing the most pertinent fears Nispel and company have to deal with. It certainly appears that the Conan movie will be making a substantial appearance at Comic-Con, and the idea of guests and even advanced footage will hopefully give us a further idea of how the film’s shaping up. REH Forumer Lord Greystoke provides scans of the exclusive images, the largest of which I’ve tried to clean up a bit, though due to the nature of the scan, Momoa’s right half is quite a bit skinnier than it should be. The second is a smaller picture of Conan on horseback: it’s good to know Momoa has overcome his fear of horse riding.

In related news, Mark Finn, REH scholar and author of Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, the definitive Robert E. Howard biography, will be moderating a panel at Comic-Con on – what else? – Robert E. Howard in the comics:

Ladies and Gents,

Is anyone else going to San Diego Comic-Con this year? I’ll be onhand, pressing the flesh, and as of right now, moderating a panel on Saturday. What’s the panel, you ask?

Saturday July 24
Robert E. Howard in Comics: Then. Now. Always.:
Room 24ABC
Robert E. Howard is seen as the grandfather of the sword and sorcery fiction genre. He’s created such classic characters as Kull the Conqueror, Red Sonya, and Conan the Barbarian that have lived in comics for more than 40 years! Explore worlds of magic, bravery, and savage revenge as this panel delves in to Robert E. Howard’s timeless fiction in comics of the past, present and future.

This was brainstormed by a buddy of mine from Boom! Studios, and it’s going to be a multicompany panel. If any of you are attending this year, I thought this would be a good place for a meet-up. It would be nice to meet you (well, some of you…) face-to-face and shake your hand after the panel. Does this sound like a plan for anyone? If you’re attending, please reply below so we can get an idea of who we’re looking for.

Mark Finn, one of the most vigorous critics of the upcoming Conan film, in the same building as its first major marketing push… It’ll be interesting, to say the least!

UPDATE: Sadly, it looks like the REH Panel won’t be taking place at Comic-Con, due to schedule conflicts and other such bureaucratic mummery.  Fail, Comic-Con.

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 10th, 2010 at 11:25 pm and is filed under Conan Movie Rumours, REH related News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • m

    well the day is drawing closer , and I have a feeling they’re gonna show footage at comiccon.

  • Ralph Damiani

    I’m positively impressed with the visuals. And no, ÃŽ don’t think the abs have been airbrushed as it has been implied before. One would expect they’d make make him far more defined if the idea was to touch up the image.
    He does look bigger in the thumbnails, but I’m getting used to this leaner Conan. Great expression in the first, not so great in the second. I’ll give him the benefit of doubt.

  • Ralph Damiani

    Oh, almost forgot. Still hate the sword.

  • Paran

    omg, fucking gay…

  • Antmanx68

    The scan from the mag does make Momoa look less broad than in the thumbnail because of the way the magazine is put together, You’re losing half of his right shoulder and arm in the scan. Its the same pic, he’s just as broad, Look-

  • Taranaich

    Antman has it correct: unfortunately my Photoshop-fu isn’t quite on that level yet.

  • Seamvs

    Waldgeist, you are indeed the man when the likes of Empire and MTV are getting info from your site. All this from Deutschland my congrats on the scoops. Keep up the good work.

  • Seamvs

    “Mark Finn, one of the most vigorous critics of the upcoming Conan film, in the same building as its first major marketing push… It’ll be interesting, to say the least!”
    Interesting indeed, especially since I’ve heard that John Milius will be there.

  • Ian

    I’ll only welcome this movie if it’s true what i read many moons ago that the plans where.

    First movie:Conan the rogue.As he was as a youth.
    If this is the case though.I think a thirty yr old conan is past being a rogue.He would be more like the below.

    Second movie:Conan the warrior,time to get more mass and scars so as not to be so shy to wear a loin cloth of sorts.

    Third movie:Conan the King.The mass is there and the scars are heavy
    And ready to take the seat of Aqilonia.

  • Simon Musk

    Been ill recently so not been on the blog.Momoa looks excellent in the promo photos,plus the comments made about the movie by the Film people give me a lot of hope that it will suprise us all-lets really hope so!!

  • arksinge

    Hi, somebody know who is the compositer of the music of this Conan?

  • Fayric

    Simon, yes most people has come to accept Momoa with these recent pics (even if they dont think he is ideal, hes clearly acceptable). Lets just hope they can tie it all together in the end. Like Ian said, this will probably be better if they are able to tell the story of Conan over a few movies to show us the many sides of Conans adventures (and the world of the hyborian age).

    I wish I was able to go se that panel about Conan in comics. Its hard to se them stick only to comics and not straying to other extentions of the saga. I know Mark Finn is no great fan of what marvel did to the legend, but he has written several introductions to the dark horse adaptations of Howard stories. Hope someone film the good parts for us unfortunate not to be there.

    By the way (thinking about possible sequels) do anyone know the official name of this movie? Conan? Conan the movie? Conan, the once and future king? Conan, last of the Cimmerians?

  • Finn

    I will agree with whatever mr. finn says on the panel. Also,

    “Stargate: Atlantis’ Jason Momoa has taken the title role, boasting a considerably more athletic physique than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic bodybuilding form: this Conan is built for speed.”

    Arnold was the greatest professional athlete in the sport of bodybuilding (if you consider it a sport) and won a strongman competition. Momoa is a model and actor, not an athlete. How could he be more athletic than Arnold was? And how could he be built for speed? Did someone time them both in the 40 yard dash?

  • Hobie

    Oh please. Does being a bodybuilder really make you an athlete? Are professional bowlers, golfers and race car drivers REALLY athletic too? Or is, and much more likely, “professional athlete” just a career catagory?

    Arnold was no more qualified to ride a horse, sling a sword or run, pretend kill and grit his teeth than Momoa is. Arny wasn’t the most coordinated “actor” either, by the way. Two left shoes.

  • Steve Dilks

    Simon: Just finished your book “The stealer of the seasons”. To all of you who remember the teen fantasy books of Alan Garner this will be familiar fare if not totally derivative. This is a story set in an England that once existed (and in some remote corners may still do!) but would be alien to the youth of today. Ironically its that picture of Albion I find under threat of dissapearing forever into the dark rather than land devouring sorcerer at work on his nefarious schemes in this the book. Interestingly Musk uses ice as the as the evil and great destroyer here somewhere along the (ley)lines of Bakshi’s “Fire and ice”. We are taken on a quest which involves four children gathered together by a mysterious grey sranger whoose identity is kept secret by a series of red herrings and ruses. The quest itself deals with the finding of four magic objects with which these chosen kids will defeat the oncoming of the dreaded ice dragon. “Lord of the rings” references abound off set against a modern setting as Musk takes us on a guided tour of his very own magical reaized Albion-with its places of historical and mystical import. He does this in sketches and yet with a care for skill, not bogging down the reader with weighty facts but leaving enough room for the curious too find out for themselves should they so wish. Like any good story teller its about getting on with the story. The climax rushes upon you almost too soon. The last two chapters I found well written and had me wishing it had been as furious as this from the start. While I did find some of the story a little stilted I was entertained. The more obvious influences in the story did not detract from my enjoyment. The fantasy scenes are well drawn. I did find the love story a little uninteresting and the modern references to gothic bands with the oldsters throwing Ronnie James Dio horns in the name of Paganism a little awkward, nonetheless I spent an enjoyable few sunny hours reading Widwood press’ edition of Simon R. Musk’s “The stealer of the seasons”. I heartily recommend it to all of you out there who love earthy and spiritual fantasy. Badger him for a copy and demand the sequel “The cry of the trees” to be written forthwith!

  • Fayric

    @ steve (and Simon)
    Mysterious grey sranger and ice dragon? Sounds like some influence from norse myth, with the horrible dragon Nidhögg gnawing at the roots of the world tree down in his realm of ice. Anyway, sounds like a good enough story, and to tell the truth I have actually been keeping one of my eyes open for Musk books…
    Perhaps something copleatly else, and maybe not: I think Gandalf is the most striking litterary porttrait of Odin in norse myth (and there are some other, like in Gaimans “American Gods”). A grim old scarecrow of a man skulking around disguised in a grey hat and cloak, obsessed with magic, prophesy, knowlege and basicly anything that had to do with large scale political impact, like big epic battles. there is also the incident when he sacrifice himself, just to return with greater knowledge and understanding. I just bring it up because I know Simon is an old tolkien fan, and that “mysterious stranger” in the stealer of the seasons might have a deeper influence (or maybe Im just about to ruin the sequel, I dont know).

    I too like the theme of a slowly dissapearing magic in the world rather than some monstrous ruler that try to enslave us. I mean, we all have learned from Conan that evil ruler can be dealth with if you have a strong will and a heavy swor;) The fading of “magic” is something else. (needless to say, Michael Endes “the neverending Story” has had a big spot of my heart since I first saw the movie as a kid, reading it now, it seems to only makes more sense the older I get) But I think Sauron, as portrayed in Jacksons triology has a industrial theme, something to echo the bleak and devouring mechanisms of what the idustrial and “rational” world has given us rather than just an evil overlord. I think that is an important interpretation of tolkiens work, because it also echo the dark foretellings of William Blake, a writer who I presume Tolkien took much inspiration from (whom also lament the fading sweet Albion). Please correct me if Im wrong, I realize Im just guessing here;)

  • Finn

    I’ve got mixed feelings on if bodybuilding is a sport, but I’d say it’s more athletic than golf, bowling, or race car driving. When they are up on stage it’s not athletic but the long hours in the gym are pretty athletic. My point is that it’s a lot more athletic and physical than modeling and acting. Bodybuilders do a lot of cardio to burn fat also. Momoa may be some super athlete who also runs like that jamaican guy. But the writer would need some evidence. “…boasting a considerably more athletic physique than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic bodybuilding form” – how can a physique itself be “athletic” unless it has muscle? Unless athletic means not having muscle? And being built for speed, we just assume the guy with the least muscle is the fastest? It’s all bullshit, haha.

  • Taranaich

    Wow, the Conan movie and Mark Finn *and* John Milius? My Royal Rumbleometre’s reading over 40 megadonnybrooks!

    Ian, do you know where you read that? It would seem to make sense – assuming these chuckleheads have a lick of sense in their brains.

    Fayric, Mark is a HUGE Marvel comic fan: it’s one of the reasons he did the intros to the Chronicles of Kull. I don’t think he’ll pull any punches on the Bruce Jones or Michael Fleischer eras, though!

    Finn, I’m guessing just a poor choice of words on the article author’s part. Momoa’s combat scenes on Stargate: Atlantis do exceed Arnold’s in speed and general acrobatics (though I dearly hope this doesn’t turn into some wire-fu nonsense).

  • Big V

    The thing is we now know what we get when they put a pro bodybuilder in a movie, bad acting. So why not get an actor, buff him up and put him in a movie? And if bodybuilders are athletic because they hit the gym, then you have to say Momoa is athletic because he to hit the gym. And lets not forget some of the fights he did in SG. If I had to put money on who would win a real fight, Arnold in his prime or Momoa in his prime (which is now) I would go with Momoa.

  • m

    urk fishing was cancelled. may try to go out with a work buddy on the ocean one day for shark fishing or tuna.on to discussion.As far as who classifies for an athelete, bowlers definitely shouldnt be, but I would argue the case for golfers.race car drivers happen to keep in good shape, and i always thought , the stronger your body is the better it can handle a collision? I’m not sure if they’re athletes but most race car drivers keep in good shape.and well to be a good model you have to spend alot of time in the gym and dieting ,honing a look as well as a bodybuilder, the intensity and goals are what differ. obviously a bodybuilder wants to be huge, and yeah it takes a tremendous amount of strength and work to get your results. a model has to work out his/her body with intesity to maintain their leaner appearances as well( we’re not talking those “heroin chic” retardmodels I despise, I’m talking Momoa types).are they atheletes literally no, but they live healthy athletic lifestyles.They can easliy adapt to roles that require athleticism due to their conditioning.What I’m trying to figure out though, is how do you come to the conclusion that arnold schwarzenegger has two left feet?what evidence do you have to support this with hobie?do you know him personally? cause his movies are edited to make him look good , so how can you tell?I seriously doubt a guy like arnold love him or hate him, came to this country with the 12 dollars in his pocket and just his physique and found greater success than 90% of the people on this earth by being” uncoordinated”. He’s no “actors” actor , but he is among the best in what he did for action movies.He may not be the “perfect ” conan either ,but he’s no fluke. And as far as his speed, he’s stronger and faster than anyone here, even at 80 he will be too..

  • m

    @big v : a bold statement indeed. I dont know who would win. we’ve seen them both in choreographed stunts where momoa shows alot of speed and arnold shows brute force. I may give the edge to arnold on the grounds ( and I do have to double check) that he may have spent his younger years in the military. again let me check my facts before I commit.I watched momoa on yutube and he looks like he may have a martials art in his background, he actually impressed me.In the movies though, i hate to say it, arnold always wins.

  • m

    Last impression I’m getting is that they (paradox milienium,)really want conan on the map huh?

  • Steve Dilks

    Milius at comic-con. I doubt he would show the slightest bit of interest in “Conan”. If it was someone else working with a counterfeit Arnold on one of his scripts though-oh, hang on a minute…

  • Ian

    I am sorry but i cannot remember where i read it but just heard it was going to run that course.
    Now this is going back shortly after them scrapping the idea of Crown of Iron.And thats some years ago now.
    And from the look of him in recent pictures released seems to be obvious thats plan.
    Just hope by the sequel if this kicks off he will be bigger and have the more traditional look that we are all familiar with.

  • Taranaich

    No problems, Ian.

    Steve, Milius has shown interest on the Conan film in the past: when talking about the Red Dawn remake in an interview, he had this to say on Conan:

    “No one wants their movie remade, especially when the movies take on a life of their own.”

    Plus, Milius is a maverick known for not holding his tongue. I’m sure things’ll be pretty interesting at Comic-Con.

  • hartono

    I’m impressed but still the sword why???? CROM!!!

  • Ian

    I too don’t like the sword.Prefare the swords that Milus had in his version.But then again it’s one of my all time favorite movies.
    Which i am not ashamed of at all. 😛

    And where that sword is placed unsheathed like that would split his belt and let all garments drop relieving them skinny legs..Hehe!!
    But seriously though,you wouldn’t have it resting like that without it sheathed.

  • Steve Dilks

    Taranaich: I don’t think Milius will be bothered by this in all honesty. Lets face it this pile of turd is nothing to do with his vision but a modern comic book interpretation. I remember when De Laurentiis sacked him after directing the first movie he never seemed bothered by “Conan the destroyer”. Judging by the commentary on “barbarian” I get the impression he had not even seen it. Though I also get the impression Arnie had not watched “barbarian” since its theatrical release either!

  • Fayric

    I give up. I just dont get it. a year ago when I did a quick browse of conan discussions and forum, everybody hated Marvels take on Conan, saying it had ruined the very essense of Howards hero in much the same way as De Camp, saying marvel was to blame for the fact that so many people dont “get” Conan. Now everybodey claim the love the marvel run. What?

    No matter really, I tend to make up my own mind what I like and dont, just a bit confused here (and at the same time i trust you guys enough to at least give your suggestions/references a fair try).

    By the way I dont mind the sword to much. It looks solid enough, and looking at the riding pic I kind of like the shape to. Perhaps the hilt is a bit big, but it has a siple solid and functional design in my oppinion. Id like to know what you all dislike about it.

  • m

    @steve: I got the same impression about arnold in that commentary too.He cracked me up on that commentary.It can be funny to point out little things on this new flick like the hair and the swords(which dont really bother me,just show me how you’re gonna use them)but it also becomes easy to get carried away too.@fayric:I’ve noticed too, that Howard fans are very fickle in their likes and dislikes and don’t agree much as to what version of conan the last 40 years is truest to howard’s conan.One year people won’t see the howardian aspects of a pastiche and then upon rereading , maybe there is something there. or some clever folk on the boards can find something others don’t.I think we’ve had this discussion before,and though there are many enjoyable interpretations ( i happen to like alot of the marvel comics one) very few hit home.I think as long as theres access to Howards original stories ,you can always make room for whats come since ,because you know the difference.

  • m

    @ian: conan the barbarian is an awesome movie.nothing to be ashamed of.

  • m

    and I’ll say this about the swords thus far:at least they’re not trying to imitate the grandeur of the original ,or the idea of milius’s version of it , trying to make the sword a “character “. it worked nice in conan the barbarian, as that sword is iconic now. It would look like pale imitation here and would detract even moreso. How many of us would likely groan if we saw a version similar to arnolds. I know i did with the ralph moeller show(amongst everything else about it)

  • Steve Dilks

    M: Where is Conan’s iconic head band in this though? I’ve scanned all the pics…Seriously, I don’t care whether the original movie was close to Howasrd or not. It was close enough for me and has a quite intriguing life all its own-as you yourself have pointed out. I have resigned myself to the fact that this version will be of little interest to me, just like the Dark Horse comics and computer games are something I dont have any enthusiasm for. I am dissapointed with everything so far and was even going to compile a “20 reasons why this film will suck” list but just can’t be bothered to go into what everyone already knows. Seriously compare the official pics of Conan to “Prince of Persia” or “Clash of the titans” pics and you will realize just how bad and cheap a joke this film looks.I bet “Solomon Kane” or even “Spartacus:Blood and sand” is better. Sorry to be a grouch for all you who look forward to this movie and more spewing crap from Lang and Nispel at comic-con saying how much they got into it and all the turgid nonsense that goes with promotion but one thing I can see is “Conan” will suck the big one for sure.I do hope Milius takes Thorgrimm’s hammer to San Diego with him and bashes a few corporate skulls with it. That I will enthuse over.

  • Hobie

    The good news is that the new movie cannot possibly suck as bad as Arny’s Conan.

    It’s a win win for everyone.

  • Finn

    I never thought arnold was slow or had two left feet. Otherwise, HOW DID HE STAR IN THE RUNNING MAN!??!?!

    Arnold did spend his mandatory year in the austrian military and played sports growing up. A big part of bodybuilding is genetics. Arnold was blessed with better genetics as far as muscle is concerned. His limits are (were) much higher. Studios can’t just take a random actor and automatically buff them up to whatever size muscles they want. If that was the case, they would have made momoa have enough muscle to play conan. It’s just not possible, or would take 6 years of further training instead of 6 weeks. But, the studio didn’t choose momoa because he’s a good actor either. They chose him because he’s a model. If it wasn’t him it would be that other twilight faggot. The fact that they fucked up the most important casting choice so bad shows what kind of movie we are getting.

  • Oles

    Thanks for the news

  • Fayric

    I wonder, had milius called his Conan the Barbarian something neutral like “the riddle of steel” (and likewise used other names for people and places), would those hardcore Howard fans praise it as the Conan movie that never got made, or would they dismiss it as an obvious theft of various Kull and Conan themes in a loose celebration of the S&S genre? (well, most people still like it as a really good movie, the conan stuff besides). I like it, its one of few movies where I can actually stand Arnold.

    Also, if this new Mamoa movie had another name, would the Conan fans be buzzing with “Conan finally done right”?. Probably not. I agree there is many things about this production that is questionable as far as we can tell (and we CAN have an oppinion about what we se even if the movie is not finished yet). But I still think I will be closer to REHs Conan than milius movie was.
    I think movies can never live up to the written original (if it is an adaptation of a book), but it can provide an instrument to further the understanding and personal interpretation of the original text. I think this is what has happened for many of you who love “the Barbarian”, you have been given a tool to interpret Conan, and now that tool has grown on you to take that interpretation as your own. It has become the way a Conan movie should be (not caring if its true to Howard or not). Nothing wrong with this, I am a great fan of the idea that at least half the reading experience is made up of personal stuff that is not written in the text, but put in between the lines by our own imagination. How many of us did not imagine Frazettas image even the first time we read the stories, because the reading experience had already been biased by the tool of interpretation that Frazetta had given us on the cover berfore we started reading(and natrually, we think Frazetta made the images closest to howard, when howard in fact wrote conan similar to Frazetta in the twisted chronology of our personal perception. Am I making any sense here? must be the heat getting to me.

  • Hobie

    Naa….The Running Man was a freakin’ movie. It doesn’t mean he was actually good at running. *rolls eyes* By that logic Matt Damon could kick all of our asses because he kicks ass so well in the Bourne movies.

    Arny was too big for the Conan part. And if you watch Arny closely in many of his movies he’s not very coordinated. He does indeed have two left feet.

    And far from being like Howard wrote Conan to move (quickly and “panther like”) Arny was so big all he could do was lumber.

    They cast Conan very well in Momoa. He can act. He could be a little bigger, but one can’t have everything.

    And what’s all this bitching about Momoa haveing been a model? So what?
    Do we refer to Sean Connery as a milkman, bricklayer, lifeguard turned actor? Answer: No.
    Do were refer to Tom Cruise as a bellhop turned actor? Answer: No.
    Do we refer to Matthew McConaughey as a dish washer and chicken manure shoveler turned actor? Answer: No.
    Do we refer to Warren Beatty as formere rat catcher for the National Theater in Washington, D.C. turned actor?

    No, we do not.

  • Fayric

    Ha ha ha! “how did he star in the running man”! O, god I hope you are not serious. Its hillarious anyway!

    About the casting of Conan, I think that has been one of the major problems that has put this movie on hold for so many many years. And they held open casting that was extended to desperatley find a good choise. If there was an ideal Conan out there, he didnt care to try out. And lets not forget that Arnold put both a hig and low standard for the part. I really get why people are so impressed by him and love his movies, but for the same reasons some people find him laughable. The ones who mainly tried out for the part was probably Arnold wannabes, and the producers said early on that was not what they wanted (though I guess that was actually your point Finn;)
    I think Momoa turned out to be better than I had hoped for to be honest.

  • Wolfie

    To all those who complain about Momoa there’s only one thing that can be said: show is _one_ actor who would fit the role better. Just one. And, please, pay attention to the word “actor” here.

    Momoa played quite a nice role in Stargate Atlantis and showed at least to me that he would be great as Conan as well. He’s got the physique for it. He’s got the muscles. Maybe not as much muscles as some unrealistic expectations make some people wish for, but still enough to play the role of a barbarian very well.

  • Simon Musk

    Steve,many thanks for reviewing STEALER,I doubt if I will ever write the sequel now as too much time has gone by (12 years!!). For you Metal heads out there do yourself a favour and pester Steve for a copy of his CD ANGEL OMEGA Coven 13-you will LOVE it!!.I would have written a full review here but I cant get rid of this lousey virus I have had for the past 2 weeks! Even sitting typing on the laptop is an effort.I hope to be back swinging my sword on the blog very soon.I hope we get to hear about more Conan stuff via Comic Con.

  • Steve Dilks

    Simon must have an ear virus. Probabely delirious too. Get well soon shield-brother!Fayric: I think you spot on with your evaluations on the old movie and the perceptions we all have as fans on the iconic visuals plastered on the covers of those old books.I can’t for the life of me understand how this movie will be more like Howard though when all they are doing is cribbing bits and pieces from the old films and mixing them with platform gaming scenarios.Hobie: Momoa the model might be able to strike a good pose staring at his oversized wrist band whilst squinting and trying to look moody whilst staring forelornly into the sun. He can also do a high kicking jump. You also forgot to mention he used to do the labour intensive gruelling job of t-shirt folding on a beach front shop in Hawaii. That’s Conan enough for me by Crom!

  • Ralph Damiani

    I agree with Fayric, Momoa is looking better than I expected and this is a very difficult role to cast. I’ve only seen Momoa acting through Youtube short clips and I’m still not convinced he has enough presence to play lead, but I’m prepared to give him a chance.

    I just watched the definitive edition of Conan the Barbarian that arrived earlier today. It had been many years since I watched the entire film, and never on a digital copy. And wow, I was blown away. In my opinion the movie works on so many levels to me because:

    1) It has an outstanding art direction and photography. Look at those sets, the gorgeous lighting, there was truly an effort to make this feel like the beginnings of civilizations in a past that feels familiar but that you csn’t quite distiguish. Very Howardish.

    2) I can’t emphasize this enough, but the soundtrack sucks you into the story far more than any expository dialogue would. It’s a beautiful way to tell a story that is really downplayed in today’s adventure movies. Like reading a book, it incites the viewer’s imaginations. I confess I can’t picture a Conan movie without Basil Poledouris.

    3) Arnold has an extraordinary amount of charisma. I can go as far as saying as he could have pulled it off even without his bodybuilder physique. Yes, his accent is funny, his expressions are laughable at some points, but when he does those Kendo Katas, you readily believe he’s an extremely disciplined warrior. He has presence, he’s in charge, he’s dangerous. That’s Conan for me.

    So even if that wasn’t a Howard tale, even if Conan is not fully realized as a character, he is shown as a barbarian, a thief, a mercenary and a king, which is a quite an accomplishment for a single movie. I’d say the movie is successful for having the right tone and the right spirit even with a minimalist script.

    I think today’s action/adventure movies lack -soul-. They lack artistic inspiration. It takes a sensible direction to please your producers and the studio by selling a product, while still putting out something that deserves to be labelled artistic. And art goes like this: Many people won’t get it, some will feel offended and your work may only be appreciated in years from now. Sadly, it’s a reality producers really hate.

    As a footnote, this is one the reasons why I think James Cameron deserves his success. He rose to such a standard as an artist and director that most of the audience is prepared to forgive his shortcomings as a writer. Artists that go against the stream to show the world their vision is what Hollywood has in short supply today.

  • Hobie

    Yes Steve. Just like Arny the bodybuilder struck a good pose too. Problem was, he couldn’t even give a moody look or act his way out of a paper bag. When he did manage to get something across on screen half the time one couldn’t be sure what he even said through that accent.

    Arny was not Howard’s Conan.

    I’m sure Arny folded a few t-shirts in his day too.

    And who cares if Momoa was a model?

    Do we refer to Sean Connery as a milkman, bricklayer, lifeguard turned actor? Answer: No.
    Do were refer to Tom Cruise as a bellhop turned actor? Answer: No.
    Do we refer to Matthew McConaughey as a dish washer and chicken manure shoveler turned actor? Answer: No.
    Do we refer to Warren Beatty as formere rat catcher for the National Theater in Washington, D.C. turned actor

  • Ralph Damiani

    Oh, I almost forgot…the costumes! The costume design is terrific. It’s so very rich and detailed, it has an identity of its own. That’s actually one of the reasons I’m unimpressed with the pictures of the new movie we’ve seen so far, everything in the set and the costumes look so underwhelming and ordinary, as if taken from a TV show.

  • Steve Dilks

    Hobie: You’re right dammit, Arnie had a barbarous accent! Who cares if Marcus Nispel is a director of commercials and M.T.V. videos too? To me this sounds like the perfect match! Conan is in the bag with this winning team folks. Do we refer to Marcus Nispel as a top-notch director with an impressive list of films to his c.v.? No.
    Do we refer to Josh Oppenheimer and Thomas Donneley as credible script writers? No.
    Do we refer to Lionsgate as acompany known for watchable and enjoyable movies? No.
    So its up to L’Oreal/ Garnier to save the day with a wad of cash to wave at “Conan”. Very Howard.

  • Taranaich

    Well Steve, I don’t know if I expect Milius to make much of a deal out of it, but you can’t tell me that someone at Comic-Con’s going to quiz him about it when the new Conan film’s there too. If Milius doesn’t get involved, someone will try to pull him in.

    I give up. I just dont get it. a year ago when I did a quick browse of conan discussions and forum, everybody hated Marvels take on Conan, saying it had ruined the very essense of Howards hero in much the same way as De Camp, saying marvel was to blame for the fact that so many people dont “get” Conan. Now everybodey claim the love the marvel run. What?

    Fayric, I think this apparent dichotomy Howard fans have with the Marvel comics isn’t a change in heart, but a reference to the vast gap in quality between the Thomas/Non-Thomas runs.

    The Thomas run had actual REH adaptations, and Thomas had a fairly good idea of Conan – certainly a better one than De Camp. However, Thomas’ time on Conan (127 of 275 issues) only amounted to less than half of the entire run: he was succeeded by J.M._DeMatteis, Bruce Jones, Michael Fleischer and the ungodly Chuck Dixon. It’s like the difference between the original Star Wars trilogy and the prequels. Except worse. Much worse.

    So as a rule of thumb, when people talk well of Marvel Conan, it’s likely in reference to Roy Thomas’ work: if they’re talking poorly, it’s most likely one of the other authors. And, of course, not every Howard fan is the same: many REH fans don’t even like Thomas, whereas some (like Mark Finn) do. Same with Dark Horse: some love it, some hate it.

    I wonder, had milius called his Conan the Barbarian something neutral like “the riddle of steel” (and likewise used other names for people and places), would those hardcore Howard fans praise it as the Conan movie that never got made, or would they dismiss it as an obvious theft of various Kull and Conan themes in a loose celebration of the S&S genre?

    Even the biggest fans of CtB among the hardcore Howard fans – Leo Grin and Ed Waterman the most prominent examples – don’t consider Conan the Barbarian to be a Howardian movie. The elements of CtB taken from Howard stories only amount to about 20 minutes of the film, 30 tops. It has no more in common with Howard than Beastmaster or The Sword & The Sorceress, though a far superior film in cinematic terms.

    That said, if any REH fans claim it to be the REh film we deserve, it would more likely be Kull than Conan. Kull was a slave, and a gladiator, and given more to introspection than wine, women & song: CtB’s Conan has more in common with Howard’s Kull than Howard’s Conan.

  • m

    HOly crom it’s been a busy day!I dont know where to start. first off:Simon: hope you get well two weeks is a long time to get sick with anything .Fayric and ralph: really enjoying your comments latley great points to both. sword brother steve: I noticed you’ve been getting increasigly frustrated with the news and photos that have been leaking out as of late. you knwo how i feel but i’ll throw in some more. you know i love milius conan. is it a translation of howards conan ? not directly it’s an interpretation to me of howard, we all know the details are wrong( and it’s okay , I also think its done that way deliberatly much how every pasticher puts their own spin)and taranaich i also agreed and stated some time back it has more in common with kull.Conan the barbarian is in my top ten faves and will stay that way .Now onto the current conan. I have come to the conclusion that at least on a visual level I like Momoa’s general look and can accept him as conan. As far as the other visuals we’ve been exposed to, so far I like the scenery and the photography,as those play to nispels strengths.I even like the choices made for supporting cast.Having an ‘r’ rating helps too, though I see the potential for an all glossy no substance flick like prince of persia ponder this ( not on the tree of woe) what was the last sword and sorcery flick you remember to get an r rating( braveheart and gladiator don’t count) I think 300 right, before that the onyl one i can think of is conan1.that says alot too in its own way.Am I doing backflips over this flick like i’d hoped to? nah, and I do understand what everyone is seeing that they don’t like. I have a feeling that at comic con you’re gonna see some footageand if milius does show, did it occur that maybe he was paid to make an appearance to garner suppport for this movie from fans of his version, many of whom do not approve. I can see him saying ,”this looks to be great check it out” I like milius but he’s still gotta play the game. more thoughts later it was a long day and I havent hit the gym yet.

  • m

    A point i forgot on liking momoas conan? is it the conan i personally envision? no but neither is arnold and sometimes even frazettas and to me they proved themselves.fayric was on point with that. and this nonsense about arnold having two left feet is ridiculous hobie. a shame cause you’re other points are good.

  • m

    @taranaich; this is meant in humor of course, but sometime back i reread my baen edition of Kull and having this discussion when it was fresh in my memory , questioned his complete lack of interest in women sexually, a far cry from his successor conan.I dont know if its due to circumstances of his kingship or underdeveloped personality, but I find kull far moodier even to the point of paranoid( but with those serpent men everywhere, who wouldnt be)and uncertain of reality as conan was if you think of conans famoous passage on life and reality from queen of the black coast compared to well…any kull story really, he always seems so doubtful. I remember one story where hes chasing down a couple cross the country who insulted him and he’s showing too much admiration for his captain of the guard, I think his name was kelkor or something?admiring his steeliness abit too much methinks.

  • Hobie

    Just watch him closely in some movies M. I’ll try to huny up a clip and post a link.

  • m

    @steve: I forgot pathfinder was ‘r’ . ugh, my bad throw that point out the window sword brother.but one thing about either of those movies 300 and pathfinder, is that they didnt have that cheesy scorpion king/kull feel to them. I think the r rating only helps this conan if anything else.

  • Ralph Damiani

    I have to say while John Milius may not have been a Conan fan before he got involved with Conan the Barbarian, after watching the ‘Making Of’, one can totally understand why he -was- the right person to direct it at the time.
    The guy is obsessed with guns and the military, wanted to be general instead of a director, and genuinely likes the subject of battle. He emphasized the war and violent aspect of Conan and his struggle to survive. He also came up with a military strategy for the last battle sequence, and properly depicted the chaotic atmosphere of the Hyborean Age as well as the budget allowed. One can only wonder what he would have done with Olive Stone’s epic script, unshootable at the time.

    Not only that, but everyone in the production appeared to genuinely care about making the movie feel authentic, from the “magic” portions of the script being cut in favor of a more “historic” aspect, to the set and props design, etc. Milius really comes across as someone with a decent cultural background and a strong artistic vision for the project. I really wish they had allowed him to make his trilogy while Arnold was in his prime.

    I really doubt you’ll get a Howardian Conan today, it’s as unlikely as it was in the 80’s, except, perhaps, in the hands of a visionary director with enough decision power for the studio to gamble on.

    Instead, they got a more affordable choice. But fans have every right to be concerned about the direction. Nispel’s movie ratings range from negative to mixed, and have scored very poorly among critics (10% to 35% on Rotten Tomatoes). If he doesn’t have enough influence to pull off a vision of Conan that feels unique and stands on its own, and somehow manages to get blacklisted by the fanbase, I don’t see his career shining in the future. Critical reception is, more often than not, very tough on fantasy and horror movies.
    In other words, Conan fans might be all he’s got. =)

  • m

    you dont need to brother, I’ve seen his movies . my point is those movies and the takes they use of him are designed to make him look good , even when he comes off a bit oafish its all tongue in cheek. his whole career, this guy is sharp and knows how to market himself . he’s close to a billionaire not just from his huge movies and whatever royalties he makes, the real estate he owns, malls buildings, he has his own bodybuilding championship tournament fer croms sake. and this guy came to this country on joe weiders dime without a penny in his pocket!And he was smart enough to marry a kennedy, politically the opposite of his conservative spectrum. you dont get that way by being an uncoordinated oaf, if anything hes as close to a living conan as there can be!( guys like actor wiliam smith too read up him hes amazing)does that make him the nicest guy in the world? probably not. good simon met him some time ago and said he was a bit snobbish( correct simon?)And yeah he is not the perfect vision of conan but 1) i still wouldnt want to go against him, he’s still a freakin bulldozer and 2) for what that movie needed and how it functions, arnold was the fit. we all talked about this some time back and remember where athletic action stars seem to be a dime a dozen now, there was only one arnold. Someone convinced that delaurentiis that if they didnt use arnold as conan they’d have to build him from scratch.And please bear in mind bro I’m not some arnold worshipper who takes it personally your opinion is yours and I respect it.I gotta a family here and I really got to get to the gym soon ( you guys get my brain goin man!the best blog out there!)BUt realize Arnolds a self made man in a world where oafish sorts are always handed things to them.uncoordinated just doesnt fit into a guy like his lifestyle, the demands are to great to really be like that. Arnolds not oafish even if he chooses to portray himself that way sometimes.

  • m

    Another great point ralph , your blade is truly a sharp one!:)anyone ever see the last castle? good flick.anyway gonna give my girls a bath after they wacth their simpsons, and then off to the gym. Keep it goin bros( and ladies if you’re out there)

  • Finn

    Yeah fayric, the running man thing was a joke. But arnold has never looked uncoordinated to me, he was constantly running and fighting in most of his movies and he was a good actor. He didn’t star in dramas and romances or get many awards from critics because he didn’t need to. He was too busy churning out classic action movie blockbusters. Why would a generation of americans (and westerners) grow up watching some lumbering oaf who is a bad actor and can’t even speak? And elect him twice to be the leader of the 8th largest economy in the world?

    The reason we refer to Sean Connery, Tom Cruise, Matthew McConaughey, and Warren Beauty as actors and not dishwashers is because they are established, successful actors. Has anyone heard of this Momoa guy before? Not unless they watch stargate or baywatch. This is his first major movie role if I am not mistaken. Arnold is a proven actor, and was a more proven actor when he starred in the first Conan movie. Momoa seems to have been acting for 5 years unless you include whatever he did on baywatch. Also, he will be the least muscular conan I have ever seen (outside of a few weird tales covers). What is the point of liking a strong character but thinking he shouldn’t be strong? You can just watch spiderman instead, haha. If arnold was too big then almost every depiction of conan I have ever seen was too big.

  • Ralph Damiani

    And I totally disagree about someone’s background being irrelevant. A director’s background -does- matter, moreso than an actor’s. If you’re a schooled director, you can draw your influence from american movie classics, from japanese and european cinema, from literature classics, painting, photography, music, pretty much any kind of art. An educated director -knows- how important a cultural background really is, as any respectful artist is concerned to surround himself with as many influences as possible.

    Otherwise, you have guys in this industry like McG whose background on music videoclips are obvious in the unwatchable Charlie’s Angels franchise. You have guys like Louis Leterrer whose background in publicity and ads are apparent in movies like Clash of Titans, a steaming pile of crap heavily focused on imagery but with no real substance. You have guys like Paul W.S. Anderson whose obsession for sci-fi and videogames have shut him from every other sort of artistic influence. Also worth mentionining is Michael Bay, whose movies dismiss introductions, they’re all a sequence of exponentially larger explosions, devoid of any storytelling. He also worked previously… in publicity.

    Great artists draw their inspiration from other great artists. And that pretty much shows on what kind of work you’re able to put out, if you’re even talented to begin with. If you only look up to the guy who created the latest L’Oreal add as your source of inspiration, well, let’s just say it’s very unlikely your movies will be more than just eyecandy.

  • Ralph Damiani

    Thanks m. I also admire Arnold. Not for his acting skills, but for his charisma and personal life. The guy is a winner and he was always quite aware that if his acting skills were not good enough, he could still rise to the top in showbusiness. And that’s what he did. He puts on a good show and people love him for it. They’ll excuse him for his flaws, and that’s a benefit actors with lesser charisma can’t rely on. They’ll get devoured by the critics.

  • Taranaich

    I really doubt you’ll get a Howardian Conan today, it’s as unlikely as it was in the 80′s, except, perhaps, in the hands of a visionary director with enough decision power for the studio to gamble on.

    See, that’s what bothers me about this: it shouldn’t have to take a visionary director with decision power to do Conan right. Conan is so easy to put to screen. The stories are practically screenplays in their own right. Even the worst Batman films got the basic stuff right: Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot outside a public performance area in a dark alley, he uses his fortune to fund his nighttime vigilantism under the guise of Batman, with help from his butler Alfred, and the use of gadgets like the Batmobile. Comic book movies tend to get this right: Spider-Man is recognizably Spider-Man, Superman is recognizably Superman, Iron Man is recognizably Iron Man.

    Hell, even other fantasy movies are more faithful. The Harry Potter films are pretty faithful. So are the Narnia films, even if they were rather lacklustre. Though I have faults with LotR trilogy, it’s still an adaptation of the book, one that won many readers over. Even freaking Eragon stuck to the basic plot and characters. Why is this so impossible with Conan? There is absolutely no reason I can see which would stop “The People of the Black Circle,” “Red Nails” or The Hour of the Dragon from being great two-hour films.

    @taranaich; this is meant in humor of course, but sometime back i reread my baen edition of Kull and having this discussion when it was fresh in my memory , questioned his complete lack of interest in women sexually, a far cry from his successor conan.I dont know if its due to circumstances of his kingship or underdeveloped personality, but I find kull far moodier even to the point of paranoid( but with those serpent men everywhere, who wouldnt be)and uncertain of reality as conan was if you think of conans famoous passage on life and reality from queen of the black coast compared to well…any kull story really, he always seems so doubtful. I remember one story where hes chasing down a couple cross the country who insulted him and he’s showing too much admiration for his captain of the guard, I think his name was kelkor or something?admiring his steeliness abit too much methinks.

    You may jest, but in today’s climate where two guys who show devotion to each other equates is now labelled a “bromance” or at least “heterosexual life partners”, it’s not hard to see how someone could see Kull & Brule’s bond as the stirrings of something more. In a weird way, I’d say the paranoia of modern culture about homosexuality in the wake of gay rights has led to anything which could remotely be considered gay is considered thus. Of course, people view the other possibility – that Kull just wasn’t interested in sex full stop – as nigh impossible, since the idea of asceticism in modern highly-sexed times is actually less believable. So if you’re not interested in girls, you *must* be gay: the possibility of simply not being interested in sex seems to never occur to some people. Weird.

  • Steve Dilks

    Taranaich: Yor comments on the Marvel comics run interested me. Thomas was guilty of some bad adaptions some even worse than de Camp. When he finally got the go ahead he adapted virtually every Howard story he coud lay his hands on into a Conan one. I’m talking westerns,horror, historical crusades and desert adventures. There was a batch of good stuff by other hands that came out in the late ’80s. Don Kraar’s run on “Conan the king” for instance was highly entertaining and certain runs on “Savage sword of Conan” were too. Ralph Damiani:Your comments on directors backgrounds echo my thoughts exactly. We all know where this movie is going.Certain investors have hired a guy to make a film to sell a product. The result will be bland souless mediocre drivel for the M.T.V. crowd. With some tits thrown in so it doesn’t look too much ike He-man goes to panto.

  • Ian

    Is the Thulsa Doom movie acted by Djimon Hounsou dead and gone now?
    And what will happen to the Red Sonja movie too?
    Is it still on the cards?

  • m

    @taranaich: bear in mind I am just kidding, as the thoughts you state also occured to me as I was reading them. I think Howard onces stated that people become more obssesed with their greed and sex lives once a civilization is in a decline, I’d think it was also akin to his thurian and hyborian worlds. No, in truth the more important aspect of Kull was not so much his lack of interest in sex, but his extreme moodiness, and almost paranoid distrust of whats in front of him, again he strikes me far moodier than his counterpart Conan( who though had his black moods, seemed more able to cope with life and the world)I think Kull became king at a younger age than Conan, maybe this affected him. And any psychologist today might look at Kull and attribute his lack of sex drive ( far more reasonable than being gay!)to his depressive type mood swings. And though his stories strike me as a bit more underwritten than Conan( Who is his most fleshed out character imo)adventures are, the character is definitely not the carbon copy he may appear to be on the surface.I think also as far as the movie is concerned there is no excuse not to do it well, as I am starting to be convinced that 90%of these marvel movies suck and did not get it right at all ( I like xmen2 and iron man at this point and thats it. Nolans batman ,dc, is the rare exception that at points surpasses their origins,though i find tdk a bit overrated )and they get origins across well, but that should be the easy part. And the original comics these heroes draw their stories from are far less complex and simplified than compared to the way ( not so much the plot it self but all the good stuff in between) Howard can tell a story. Can you imagine if he lived and wrote for ec comics in the 50’s like bradbury and such did?

  • m

    @ralph: yup. Arnold was never meant to be an actors actor. when he goes for that stuff in his flicks( end of days, batman and robin that silly christmas movie with sinbad) and tries to stretch he doesnt score. He’s an action star, and was one of the best. on your’s and steves remarks on directors and their backgrounds, it does seem mediocrity is on the rise and the correlation with a music video background is not only common but actually makes sense. Music vidoes were a huge business 20 years ago when most of these guys got their start. the only thing i can say is that i thought peter jackson ‘s movies sucked before lord of the rings, but thats only opinion.@Ian :i think they’re holding up those flicks ( and kull as well) to see how conan does, I wouldnt expect them for a while ,or in the form theyre rumored to take.

  • m

    I brought up the last castle for a reason, there’s a scene in it that rings true. when redfords character meets gandolfini,the military prison ward redford was sent to, ( who greatly admires redford as a general who’s seen combat,).gandolfini goes to get a copy of the book redford wrote to sign it. as he returns to the room,he overhears redford , while looking at gandolfinis war toys,guns, miniature war sets and books, says basically anyone who collects this stuff has never seen a day of combat, which insults gondolfini and thus the tension beins. good flick.great scene.

  • Rabensblut

    Peter Jackson’s movies sucked before Lord Of the Rings? I would say, LOTR sucks and Bad Taste and especially Braindead: Dead Alive are masterpieces. That was true P. Jackson

  • m

    @taranaich: one last minor correction n comment 1 then off to work. when I wrote “far for reasonable than being gay” I mean far more reasonable an explanation (depression of course,)for his lack of sex drive in kull’s case. Lack of sex drive and depression can happen to anyone of any preference and I do not mean to offend those who live alternate lifestyles.

  • Fayric

    I think you make very good points on Kulls sexuality. As not very familliar with Kull, I can still imagine that the kind of life Kull experienced didnt lead to a life of trust and careless enjoyment of what a decadent society could offer, as opposed to Conan who seem determined to grab a large bite of life and wolf it down with wine and gusto (despite the announsed gigantic melancholies).

    But I have to agree with m about those comic heroes being given true adaptations. Fore one thing those heroes quite often get a reboot in the actual comics making them quite up for grabs in new incarnations, and still fans can see many things in the movies that dont fit with the original charachters (like m has pointed out, all batman movies is a far cry from the original comic (probably the adam westversion was most true to the tone of the original in my oppinion!). Secondly, I cant pick up a superhero comic today and just read about one hero; they all partake in a superhero comunity now (based on publisher) and they all interact and team up in the stories, and in the movies this is something that marvel has just begun to hint at with the coming avengers movie, and the movies they are streamlining for that project.

    The Harry potter movies is altered in many ways when they are adapted. Daniel Radcliff is a horrible Potter that in no way resembles the Harry I read about (but I have kind of odd perception I have learned over the years;).

    As with a Conan movie being easy made Int agree. In my oppinion the stories are told in a very vague way of descriptions, relying on clichees and even prejudice. The storyline and the actual text is quite straight forward as you say (like a screenplay), but there is to much room for individual interpretation (the wery strenght of his storytellin IMO, to mix that with the straight storyline). Just take “square cut black mane”, I only understand whats cut in that mane because frazetta told me; and how do we find an actor that is simultaneously like a grizly, a wolf, a panther and a tiger? Trying to write a screenplay based on an actual story would be near suicidal. Just take a look at this blog, there are some very different understandings of what a true Conan ought to be like, and I dont care what anyone say, there is no pure reading of the original text (or any text), to quote Nietzsche “every word is a prejudice”, meaning we all have differnt understandings and relations to every single word in a text.

  • Fayric

    awfull spelling there, worse than usual, sorry about that

    Also, I think it should not be easy to make a movie “true” the originals, but its not impossible or harder than any other adaptation. And its not a reason to make up something like the scripts some of you have read for this movie, they could at least get the basic facts straight (if they didnt learn quality movie making by Milius, at lest they should have learned that there is no love for “reimagining” Conans origin and motivation, even if they plan to make it up in presumed sequels)

  • Fayric

    By the way, I dont think any one here has commented on that girl standing next to mamoa (the pic where he give us his best barbarian wolf grin, linked to a while back). Well, that actress is cast as Valeria according to IMDB as some has noticed at Conandotcom. Any comment on this? Is she “the” Valeria, and if so, what is she doing in this movie?

  • Ralph Damiani

    “See, that’s what bothers me about this: it shouldn’t have to take a visionary director with decision power to do Conan right. Conan is so easy to put to screen. The stories are practically screenplays in their own right.”

    I agree in theory Taranaich. Conan’s stories are very visual and have cinematic appeal. The character however, not so much. How many anti-heroes have been fully realized on screen without any deviation to a moral dillema at the end? As in, “kids, look what happens when you’re selfish and violent”? And also, how many faithful adaptions that correspond entirely to their original sources have been made?

    I can remember three: Watchmen, 300, and Sin City. They were translated with such precision that critics hated them for being so visceral.

    The Harry Potter movies as well Nolan’s Batman, Raimi’s Spiderman (except the third), Favreau’s Ironman and a few others were successful for capturing the essence of the original material and adding the mainstream hollywood formula: the necessary love interest, the politically correct “hero’s journey”, a very clear line of “good vs evil”, even when it’s cleverly disguised in films like “Dark Knight”. But they’re not literal adaptations at all. There’s this whole school for different medias requiring that degree of translation.

    Conan isn’t your usual story about good versus evil, except when it delves into Lovecraftian horror. All’s fair game, the winner takes all. It’s survival of the fittest. It’s a story about survival against the odds.

    In movies like “The Bourne Identity”, you’re cheering for the survivor protagonist, even though he is a cold killer, because of the misdeeds done onto him. Would that work for a Howardian Conan? Hardly! Conan never really allows himself to become a victim.

    In the 80’s, they needed to kill his parents, to burn his village, to make him a slave, to turn him into a gladiator, all in order to tell the audience “okay, now this guy is entitled to be really angry and vengenful.” That says alot about what common sense is willing to buy.

    A barbarian pillager who usurps the throne for his own sake is not the type of “hero” Hollywood is willing to sell, not today, not yesterday, not in the foreeable future. Not without serious political meditation that just doesn’t belong in Conan stories. A tyranical regime supplanted by an equally authoritarian one is as anti-american today as it was in the 80’s.

    They’ll rather focus on Conan’s “accidental” heroism and his warrior’s code of ethics. In Hollywood, they make him a cowboy. The loner underdog who wanders across the desert looking for some kind of justice, picking up adventures and rescuing damsels in distress. If you paint him as a rogue, then do it the Han Solo way, the charming good hearted scoundrel everyone is ready to like.

    That’s why I think Milius’ film was as bold as we’re gonna get in many ways, there was still a vague attempt to represent Conan as an element of nature, even if they provided him with a reason for that.

  • Fayric

    Good points, thats why Conan should be the villain of the movie 😀

    No really, I think the audience is getting more used to the survival kind of hero. Just saw a movie called Carriers that was a fairly good shadow of the ongoing zombie apocalypse trend. It was very raw in showing what the protagonists did to stay alive, and I think that raw understanding of what man and woman is capable of in certain situations is one of the things the modern Zombie movies/culture has brought on the audience, and that might benefit the posibilities of a good Conan movie. I do however agree that Conan is not that kind of survivor, because he has a kind of ambition to it; life is cheap in the hyborean age, and even if its mostly rouges, Conan has a tendency to kill people of the simple reason to gain personal power, that is the way he usually rise to become captain, king, or other leadership positions. And if his barbarian ideals was so dear to him, you have to ask yourself why he chose to become king of one of the most formidable empires of the civilized world. Was it because his Ideals said the strongest leader (conan him self) ought to be on the throne; or just because he could; or something more to Ralphs theory of unshameful self interest (none of these ruling out the other though;).

  • Ralph Damiani

    I think Howard never described exactly why Conan would be interested to become king, but he did imply that once upon the throne, he became frustrated and imprisoned. Having to deal with formalities and court policies and having to settle disputes with diplomacy instead of raw strength was against his nature. His greatest fear was possibly spending his last days rotting in a throne room of some dusty palace, a faint shadow of his former self.

    Isn’t that how King Osric is presented in “Conan the Barbarian”, as a glimpse of Conan’s future as king? He says: “There comes a time when jewels cease to sparkle…” In the deleted scene, the king is actually murdered because he is no longer strong enough to defend his throne, his rights to rule wither along with his strength . Once again, survival of the fittest. It’s a shame the scene was deleted, that’s probably Conan’s point of view on monarchy.

    As for my own theory, Conan became king because that’s the natural course of things. He is the strongest, the boldest, it’s in his nature, or destiny, if you will, to rise to the top. And once he gets there devoid of a plan, he no longer knows what to do. He kinda loses his purpose in life. He can try and conquer other realms, but ultimately, once you get to the summit, there’s just one possible exit: down. And for Conan, becoming a politician is not an option. He’s the opposite of the movie’s Thulsa Doom. He’ll never retire his sword and reflect upon his past. He won’t embrace wisdom, knowledge and mass manipulation. He will always be a barbarian fueled by passion.

    I think that’s the beauty of Howard’s conception for this character. It’s the ascencion and descension of great men, which not even Conan can escape. Other “heroes” always have the world to save, they are always paragons of righteousness for generations of readers. Not, Conan. I’d say if Howard were to write his full biography, Conan would have marched to his death in battle, before civilization corrupted him and death conquered him in the shape of poison, disease or madness.

  • Finn

    My uneducated guess is that antiheroes just don’t sell in america. Flawed heroes, sure, but not antiheroes. I thought chronicles of riddick and pitch black were pretty good with vin diesel, but they weren’t profitable enough to keep making sequels. They normally do that cookie cutter save the world, revenge for killing my family shit because it keeps working. People need to identify with the main character, but conan is probably too hard to identify with for the average american.

    Conan the Barbarian: Escape from slavery, free a prisoner, fight the evil snake cult and save the world. Conan the Destroyer: Free a slave, free a guy about to be eaten alive, save the princess, save the world again. That is good vs. evil (God vs. satan), freedom vs. slavery shit that americans lap up like the leftover milk in a bowl of cereal.

    The scriptwriters and producers come across this character and say, ahhh shit, maybe this will sell but only if we cut all this shit here out and make all these wholesale changes to the source material. Otherwise it will bomb completely. Even with the changes it might bomb completely because fantasy is kind of a fringe genre. So we better get a baywatch model or a twilight faggot to attract some of the teenage girl crowd!

  • Hobie

    Finn wrote “The reason we refer to () actors and not dishwashers is because they are established, successful actors. Has anyone heard of this Momoa guy before?”

    That’s just silly on the face of it. Momoa is more established right now than when Arny Two Left Feet tried to “act” as Conan.

    The point is, you keep bitching about Momoa having been a model (which was a long time ago, btw) and you’re conveniently ignoring the fact that EVERY one of those actors had to start somewhere.

    Was Cruise called a bellhop turned actor in his first movie, before he was “established”? No. And neither were the others mentioned.

  • Ralph Damiani

    My personal qualm about Momoa previously working as a model has to do with beauty. While (gladly) Momoa is not your typical underwear model, I think the major point of argument here is that Conan is not a pretty face playing tough like the ordinary action hero, Tom Cruise included. Yes, he’s probably had more acting experience than Arnold. Acting better than Arnold, however, can hardly be called an accomplishment.

    I’m getting used to Momoa as Conan, but I understand the concerns about picking an (arguably) good looking guy to please the female audience when Frazetta’s scarred and scary depictions wouldn’t have much commercial appeal these days. One can understand why Arnold was chosen: He had the charisma, he had the physique, as a former athlete and champion, he clearly understood what Conan’s physical strength represented to the character as well as the competitive nature of his universe.

    While we’ve yet to hear Momoa’s take on this subject (is it just a job?), speculations will continue. It doesn’t mean the movie will flop, it just points out there’s a major “publicity over fiction” concern added to a growing list of other concerns.

  • Steve Dilks

    Hobie: Who cares if Tom Sellleck was a used condom salesman?! What difference does it make? Enough already I cry!
    Finn: You are right and thats what I find so cold and souless about this whole movie. M.T.V. appeal. If they are going to make this an adult rated flick as promised then just who are they appealing to with Momoa? Surely only 13 to 14 year old girls have any interest in that hot guy hunky Baywatch actor stuff.
    Fayric: I could not care less who or what that Valeria is. If Skeletor made an appearance I would not be surprised.

  • Steve Dilks

    Oh and Hobie Tom Cruise never gave up his other vocation of being a complete “bell end” . The only reason he is not still a bell hop is because he got the sack. He couldnt reach the buttons in the lift for the top floor. The smarmy midget.

  • Jack Colby

    Fans are not worried about the way it will look or the R rating as much as they are afraid the story and tone will not be as REH’s stories were presented. If this movie even attempts to capture that horror-fantasy feel, I will be surprised. It’s just not the kind of thing modern moviemakers or studios feel is marketable. And Conan, as a pulp character, will not be handled right… he will be given a character arc, and come across as artificial.

  • Fayric

    @ Ralph. At the same time Conan is prepared to fight to keep his throne (several times), Howard even makes a point of Conan chosing not to return to the carefree life of the rouge or pirate even when everybody think he is dead and gone; even when all those corsairs hail him with a thunderous “Amra!” waiting for him to lead them once again; even though he has no wife or heir to return to. I think thats a good point for the “alpha wolf” theory: Conan has taken responsibility for his “pack”, this time no mere band of rouges or a damsel in distres, but the whole of Aquilonia. And he intend to keep them safe by some barbarous instinct or indeed ideals he was given early as a yout and that lingers in his subconscious. So he can only wait for someone to prove that anew guy is better at keeping the flock safe (by cutting Conan down and taking the crown for him (or her) self). Well at least in Conans mind it could work that way. But wouldnt this mean that the whole controversy Barbarism/Civilization that people read in to the Conan stories,is just a matter of leadership? That a change of management would ease the morbidity and decadence of “civilized men” (?).
    Likely, Osric in “barbarian” is a probable end for Conan (m, didnt you say “king Conan” had a few Osric likenesses in milius script?) but who would want to see Conan like that, even if it is the most probable end? Lets not forget Conan is the force of chaos that overthrow any plan based on probabilty and things taken for granted. I really dont think Howard would have written Conan like Osric (but I wouldnt be surprised if Taranaich can correct me on this with a quick quote or some basic fact;). IMO Howard would probably had Conan import a great riding-tiger from the far east and go away to discover hidden kingdoms and barbarous continents in the middle of the western sea! (no wait, that was age of Conan, not Howard;) (sorry waldgeist (if you are out there) Im sure the game is fine and written by decent and serios howard fans, like you said:)

  • Fayric

    Steve, was that a cheerful whistle I heard when I read your last couple of comments?
    *ducking for cover*

  • Hobie

    Steve Dilks wrote ~ Who cares if Tom Sellleck was a used condom salesman?! What difference does it make? Enough already I cry!”

    Now you see my frustration? Finally.

    What you wrote about Tom Selleck is exACLTY how I feel everytime I read Finn bitching about ‘faggot’ this and ‘model’ that. When you’re boy stops that I’ll stop pointing out actors previous jobs.

    And you’re right who cares if Tom Selleck or Jason Momoa were models? I completely agree.

  • Chuck Boone

    You know…..This is going to be a “MOVIE”….A “MOVIE” and nothing more and all this putting it under a microscope and dissecting it before any one has caught a glimpse of a single scene of it is totally senseless and will only help to hinder your enjoyment of the finished film.Even all this scrutiny some of you guys are putting into Jason Momoa as well as the Conan character himself is somewhat silly.Don’t get me wrong….I LOVE the Conan character.I’m a BIG TIME FAN and collector,have been since the 70s.And one of the reasons I love Conan so much (aside from him being the ultimate badass)is that he is a fantasy character and his stories take place in a fantasy world filled with action and adventure.That in itself is enough for me.
    When I was a kid back in the 60s and my friends and I would go to the movies to see the old sword and sandal films with Steve Reeves ,Mark Forest,Gordon Scott or whomever the main actor was,we didn’t feel like we needed to have any background knowledge in mythology or ancient history in order to enjoy the movie.We enjoyed it.No.1 Because these actors were our action heroes at the time.No.2 Because these films took us away from reality to another place and time.No.3 Because they were loaded with action and monsters. We didn’t care if Steve Reeves was too handsome to play Hercules or that Mark Forest was too short to play Goliath or that Gordon Scott couldn’t be accepted as any other character than Tarzan whenever he played Hercules,Samson or Goliath.If these same actors were being cast in those same roles today most of you guys would probably be criticizing them for those very reasons.
    I’m not saying we need to be naive but I do feel some of you guys have gone ahead of yourselves and need to get back in touch with your inner child because it’s like some of you are regarding Conan,the stories and the films like a college course or curriculum that you need to study in order to graduate.Loosen up guys.You may find you’ll enjoy ,not only the new Conan movie,but life itself much better.If you still don’t like the film after seeing it,all well and good.If you do like it,then all the better for you.

  • Steve Dilks

    Fayric: Interestingly to further tie the “Conan the barbarian” movie theme as the original faithful Howard Kull movie, King Osric’s “There comes a time, a thief, when the throneroom becomes a prison…” etc,etc. is paraphrased from the opening sentences of Howard’s Kull story “The mirrors of Tuzun Thune”. As is Conan’s opening conversation with the wizard in the mounds starting with; “Can you summon demons,wizard?”. Both are lifted from that story.

  • Steve Dilks

    Chuck Boone: Gordon Scott was a great Tarzan I think. I remember a good one with Sean Connery as a bad guy,can’t remember its name now. I loved Steve Reeves. I remember watching a season of his movies as a young teen at my grandad’s when they were on every Saturday afternoon. My favourite was “The Trojan war”. Maybe in 30 years time some kid will say the same about Momoa’s role in “Conan”. Maybe.

  • Finn

    Hobie, Arnold and Momoa both hadn’t acted much before taking on the Conan role. But Arnold had been in some movies like the villain, had a golden globe award, and was probably more famous due to being the greatest bodybuilder of all time. He was still considered a bodybuilder because he hadn’t acted much, like I considered Momoa a model because he hadn’t acted much. He is not an established actor like connery, cruise, selleck, or, yes, arnold (now). Momoa will shake off that label when he establishes himself as an actor. He’s starred in one moderately popular TV show (is he even the star?). There’s thousands of jason momoas that never became big stars. I’d say he’s flash in a pan except there hasn’t been a flash. Maybe this conan movie will launch momoa to superstardom or be a stepping stone to becoming the next gerald butler. As of July 2010 it hasn’t happened. Stay in the present.

    I point out his model background because that’s why his arms (and legs, and…) are too small to play Conan. He spent time in the gym for years of course, but developing a sleek model look. That’s what male models do. That look doesn’t work for Conan, no matter how you try to trick yourself into believing it does.

    I’m going to keep pointing that out whenever I feel the momoa apologists are getting too bad, Hobie. How does that make you feel? You can call that bitching. Fact is he’s not muscular enough to play Conan even if he was an established actor (which, he isn’t).

    Steve: Haha, yeah, those teenage girls that turned twilight into a hit won’t be able to get into the theaters on this one.

  • m

    dear chuck…yeah we know its a movie, we’ve gone over that… this is a movie blog and we’re having fun gettin stooopid over are right and you’ve said many things that were said about taking it serious . It’s part of what makes this blog fun.I go off like this cause 10 its fun 20 i like the good people here30 with a family to take care of, I have little time save the gym and fishing to talk about these things which i enjoy literature music movies conan, with anyone as most of my friends have moved on with families or life. plus we’re often not even discussing the movie anyway.we scrutinize cause we love it and. I for one believe howards writing deserves study , and as one with a useless liberal arts degree that has done nothing for me ( the 80 something grand i make a year couldve been attained with a high school diploma if only i knew, but the chicks then made college worthwhile!))I wish there was a course dedicated to pulp writers , aside those in detective far as how anti heroes or amoral swords men are portrayed , i think ralph fayric steve, a chord may have been touched there. I think the rougher type heroes since the 70’sand before ,like say rhett butler, connerys early bond, quint from jaws, indiana jones ( of the first two “fortune and glory ” films, talk of a character who got diluted) even rocky from rocky 1( he was a collector for a loan shark, thats not a friendly guy! btw my second favorite movie , and i think one howard would’ve loved an “iron man” boxer), are beginning to give way to these angsty mass appealing heroes pooping up. there’s something to this topic gotta think on it.

  • m

    @steve : yessir i did compare conan to osric abit in crown of iron. basically ” there comes a time my thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle when gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison! all that is left is a fathers love for his child…” thats conan yearning for his son in crown of iron, look how soft it made him at that point. his letters werent being read his son develops a spite. thats what i was looking far as howard and storiesconcernings conans morality , remember that conan evolves throughout the stories and his point of view as a thief in “elephant” is not the same as a seasoned, warrior,commander of men and king in hour of the dragon. he’s become a responsible statesmen at this point and chooses ( aside personal reasons) to be there. any barbarian would feel he could walk away from tthe throne at will , but i suspect , that conan, despite not coming from civilization at that point in his life,understands its importance , accepts the fact that people have a right to live and most would not survive in the wild.People need civilization , mass shelter and culture, even if they eventually decline and rise again. I wonder if howard did too. conan chooses to fight for it, and thats big for a character like him , there was quite a bit at stake in the hour of the dragon in i remember.the ability to age and grow(and mature, yet still retain that damnable vitality ( unlike comic book heroes)makes him more fleshed out ( and more necessary today , see previous post) .

  • m

    sorry bout the soapbox again guys, its been a long day too much traffic and my thoughts arent fully collected on this, or on anything right now , i need coffee. enjoy guys talk to yall manana!:)

  • Finn

    m you are right movie heroes were rougher in the 70’s and 80’s, and even before that (john wayne, clint eastwood?). It probably mirrors some kind of american societal change that I am not smart enough to fully grasp. A softening up that has REH rolling around in his grave. However I am now convinced mel gibson has the savage fury and primal instincts necessary to play conan:

  • Ralph Damiani

    They should lock him up and make him watch “The Passion of the Christ” daily for 30 years in a row. How’s that for anger management?

  • ian

    I don’t know if you have seen this tiny animation from red nails,but here it is.

  • ian
  • ian
  • ian

    Looks more exciting that Nispels piece of you know what.

  • ian

    This one is a little longer.It’s only at the beginning of the video.

  • ian
  • Steve Dilks

    Ian: Yeah its been up a while. Although we are lead to believe this is on hiatus a lot of time, money love and effort went into this for them to suddenly abandon it so close to completion. I did make out from somewhere that Paradox have there hands on it. If that is so it maybe held back for release to tie in with the movie. A similar thing was done with the Hellboy animated features when the film came out on DVD. Too the “Conan: Red nails” website is back online after it was taken down over a year ago. Fingers crossed. I agree that it looks good enough to be at least entertaining. I would rather a whole series of these adaptions than Nispel’s vaccuos lazy effort.

  • ian

    Thanks Steve,
    That is great news :) Now i have something really good to look forward to instead of Nispels version and couldn’t agree with you more with you last comment.
    If you find anymore news,could you let me know? :)
    Thanks bud.

  • m

    that cartoon looks like it would be good. hopefully someone picked up on it to finish. got a bit of that bakshi esque rotoscoping it seems.Finn i dont know i feel like even with todays better heroes somethings missing.I dont know if its the comic book thing , but there’s a rawness lacking i cant put my finger on. you look at diry harry or rambo, and compare to christian bales batman ( still good movies though) ,who to me espescially in part 2 was intrusive and lame duck ish, you would you rather have in gotham. i dont think the joker wouldve gotten away with much with dirty harry,( the scorpio killer in the first flick is very similar to the joker).leonidas in 300,in the book and movie are ballsy but in the movie ( which is fun too but i have to make tis observation) is reduced to a maximus clone in a living cartoon world which doesnt add to anything. and badass maximus himself to me is one of the best and last of these real men type stoic heroes .hugh jackmans’ wolverine can’t hold a candle .

  • serg

    FACK!!! The news about cancelled REH appearence at CC is so dissapointing!!! DAMN!!! more dissapointing that Steve’s and Finn’s comments!!! Lost day !!!

  • Fayric

    About heroes beeing stream lined now days, I think thats just a problem in expencive hollywood movies. I you look at comics, books, games and whatever comes in between, they dont have much problem to publish heroes that is not just violent and “manly”, but in most any ways just push the limit for what is accepted in a hero (or storyline or concept). I got a few comic books called “Jesus hates Zombies” where Jesus indeed return to mankind as a foul mouthed zombie-bashing bad ass that team up with werewolf hunter Abraham Lincoln. Its one scene when Jesus and an other survivor is taking a hammer and baseball bat to a room full of little babies turned to zombies while god himself has fasioned heaven as las vegas and just dont give a damn about mankind. Both the will and the audience is out there, Its just hollywood making to much money on real life zombies that flock to fancy cinematic fireworks. And like an idiot I keep watching too 😉

  • Fayric

    A preview of Jesus hates Zombies if anyone is interrested in a really bad ass hero

  • Ian


    There was a link here to a video with Lang and in it he did say he didn’t think they would be there at Comic Con.So,looks like he mean’t what he said :)

  • Finn

    M it could have something to do with the way they talk. A lot of these new action hero actors (jackman, bale, butler, etc.) are not american (fine) but faking american accents in their movies. It is watchable but they don’t do a perfect or consistent job so sometimes it sounds fine, sometimes it sounds manly, sometimes it sounds feminine, a lot of times it just sounds fucking weird. I start thinking, where is this guy supposed to be from? Arnold had an austrian accent and they would just write it into the background of his character sometimes, same with mel gibson’s american-australian hybrid. They usually talked the same. Kurt russell always talked like kurt russell, stallone talked like stallone. I’d rather just hear today’s non-american action stars talk naturally. But! Americans won’t understand since they have never met brits or scots or australians. They will complain and it will hurt profitability.

    Fayric, the Jesus and Lincoln comics are good. Can you imagine how much protesting and boycotting there would be if that was being developed into a hollywood movie? It’s a lot cheaper to make a comic book than a movie. If the cost of movie production comes down maybe we will get more cool stuff like that.

  • Fayric

    @ Finn
    Right about the cost making movie companies to scared to try something out of the ordinary. Thats why we like fan films:) they dont really care about stuff being wort the dollar, and it can look a bit second hand, because they are not trying to do it as anything else. Perhaps fan films tap in on that oldschool hero movie-making that got Chuck Boone all nostalgic.

    Havnt thought about the accent (natrually, being non american), but my guess would be that even americans dont sound like americans used to, at least not actors. I think its a certain “melody” and phrasing that actors get to learn, not only for their parts but even in how they are expected to comment on their parts and movies in media. (I think its funny to look at news readers, they all use the same tone in their voice, the same face expressions and even the same way of moving their heads when they accentuate words; talk about streamlined;)

    I have to say thoug, I think there is room for all kinds of heroes, be they geeky spidermen, good hearted space smugglers or hardboiled stoic types. Also, it all moves in circles and trends, stuff get old and disappear, then suddenly there is a huge craving for it again.
    To tell the truth, those stoic manly types get boring after a few attempts, then they just get pathetic if they keep trying. Ah, well, I guess its fine as long as some bullshit stereotypes dont try to rule my life and tell me what I ought to be like to be a “man”.

  • Fayric

    Have I understood it right if I think its mark finns panel that is canselled, but that this dont matter for the movie/game/comic show?

    Guess thet panel would have been more satisfying than the franchise stuff. what a shame.

  • Steve Dilks

    Just had my album: Angel Omega- “Coven 13″ reviewed in Terrorizer magazine (extreme metal, indusrial and goth for those of you not from the U.K.). I found it rubbished by a reviwer in the unsigned section. It got a rating of 2 and a half out of ten ,the lowest rating in the whole mag!Then it hammered down with rain and flooded the subway toilets which I had to close down and mop out by hand in soakong wet trainers. So don’t cry Serg-Crom laughs at your weakness,har!

  • Ralph Damiani

    Wait, has Stallone been speaking english all along?

    I’d cast him to dub all the Picts in the film. “mOoof ouff mff mffff hmmmmmf mmmhffffm Oouff ouff!”

  • Ian

    Steve m8,

    This is my old friends band who have jumped idea after idea over many years.
    If you want to speak to him also just ask me.He is in with Jeff Walker ,Bill steer and all the other Grindcore bands out there.
    Thats my m8 on the bass and vocals there and his bro to the left 😛
    I think they are getting signed too.Just give me a shout Steve :)

  • Ian

    And my other m8 scot.Name Diamanthian

  • m

    we got sense of humor here.I think you boys are right thugh, especially you fayric, there’s room for everyone. there’s still rougher flicks out there, eastern promises is great no country for old men, theyre out there.Steve sorry bout the review, but i doubt that’ll get you down keep on playin. I may sen you the one demo i have left of a band i was in about 6 years ago( demmos though was made in 2002) it’s just rock nothing special and I do bass and back up vocal on a song (forgot which one though) in fact during that freakin recording we met dee snider from twisted sister who was rehearsing in the studio that night! it was in 2002, and my guitarist and i showed up early and we hear a band playing twisted sister, and i said to him,” wow that twisted sister cover band sounds good” and ten minutes later dee snider comes out ( big ugly dude if i ever met one) real nice guy says hello and we’re too dumbstruck toorespond. i eventually say whats up and we then get our time to record. it was funny.unfortunatley my band mated ( two brothers) kinda flaked on me when i started dating my wife , and got into serious drugs later, ditching me when my wife got pregnant with my first kid. had some good times playing though.I’ll find a disc and send it to you soon.

  • m

    its interesting too, hearing your opinions from around europe on how you percieve american accents.Id love to have your input. I always imagined that american accents were percieved as unrefined at least , which is why any accent a person saw conan having never bothered me much even an american one, like ron perelman in red nails and the ps3/xbox360 game.( i use conan just to tie this into coversation.)the accents in new york are as different from texas as they are cali as they are,from even britain and australia, as im sure accents vary locally thereas well. the cultures in these separate regions here are vastly different as well as you can imagine. as far as guys like hugh jackman and hugh laurie,and russell crowe,christian bale, they’re very convincing ( as these guys are highly trained actors) a little forced sometimes and it takes a good ear to hear the breaks. hey theyre better than freakin costner trying to do robin hood right?

  • Fayric

    M, you get full points for the Dee Snyder story. Nothing say respect as much as a big ugly guy in black and pink spandex! (no really, Dee is an old hero of mine, they have more ties to the 70s glam rock than most other bands of their generation (for god or bad); didnt he do a movie themed on the song Captain Howdy too, that tried to challenge our comfortable everyday moral and ideals?)

    Steve, thats a pretty bad day. Write a song about it: thats your bloody axe of vengeance.

  • m

    I forgot the name of the dee snider movie but i did see it,his character is named captain howdy,named after the song named after the imaginary friend of regan macneil which ends up actually being the assyrian demon pazuzu, claiming to be the devil himself,in the exorcist.( it is a possibility the demon took the place for the devil by christian missionaries trying to convert and tying their beliefs with these peoples, muchlike they did with pagans of the north, but who knows, just my you can tell I’m being silly) for more useless info ,the name howdy according to the novel may be a psychological derivative of howard ,which the books names as regans estranged father.the original exorcist along with rocky and jaws are my three favorite movies.

  • Rabensblut

    How nice to see so many metalheads who actually read REH !!! Hail to you all brothers.

  • Gerry

    its impossible for this version of Conan to be better then the Arnie version CROM

  • Ian

    You m8 have a great taste of film.I to like the rocky movies.I couldn’t watch the sport but the films i love.The down and out boxer making it to the top only to lose it all at the end.I didn’t mind the new one either but the 5th was just utter poo. 😛
    Rambo 4 is an ace movie.
    These are mine

    3)Conan the Barbarian)
    5)Revenge of the Sith
    I could go on but i’ll leave it for now to go to 10 :)

  • Ian

    Eventhough the 80’s Conan movie is a bit off compared to the books.
    I agree with you all the way.

  • Ian

    Damn M,
    Gladiator or fellowship of the ring should of been 5 :)

  • m

    @ian:everyone here has good taste, but more important a good picture of what they like.I always had a top 5, leeme see if i can roughly do the rest( not exact though): seven samurai at 4 , gone with the wind at 5 conan the barbarian at 6, the godfather at 7 monty python and the holy grail at 8 taxi driver at 9 and the misfits at 10. its hard as i would tend to separate things based on genre if i actually thought about it. honorable mentions include one flew over the cuckoos nest,easy rider, american pop,godfather 2,heat, roadside prophets, caddyshack,gladiator,the seventh seal( swedish flick not stupid demi moore movie) night of the living dead,an american werewolf in london, too many to list dude.

  • Seamvs

    Finn, you are the man and I agree with 100% and I could of used you a couple of time over at the REH forums.

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  • Taranaich

    Taranaich: Yor comments on the Marvel comics run interested me. Thomas was guilty of some bad adaptions some even worse than de Camp. When he finally got the go ahead he adapted virtually every Howard story he coud lay his hands on into a Conan one. I’m talking westerns,horror, historical crusades and desert adventures. There was a batch of good stuff by other hands that came out in the late ’80s.

    I won’t say Thomas’ adaptations were uniformly perfect – his adaptations of “The Hour of the Dragon” and “Rogues in the House” have some really weird choices. However, given the choice between Dark Horse’s “Black Colossus” and Savage Sword’s, I’d go with the latter every time. I haven’t read the late ’80s stuff, mostly out of disgust for some of the later work.

    As for taking other adaptations of Howard: well, the difference here is that Thomas was writing a comic, and wanted to make it as REH as possible. This included taking elements from non-Conan REH, and giving them a Conan spin. I actually think they worked well. However, in De Camp’s case, he’s working in prose, and taking non-Conan REH stories and essentially supplanting them, since in De Camp’s mindset, Conan sells and non-Conan REH doesn’t. Adaptating a story into another medium and rewriting a story into another story are two different things, in my opinion.

    Fayric, while I agree Radcliffe isn’t great, what I was getting at was the films adhere to the setting, plot and characters of the book. Radcliffe didn’t do a fantastic job, but what he was given was essentially JK Rowling’s creation: a boy whose parents are killed by an evil sorcerer, who leaves a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his head, and lives with his uncle and aunt before going off to a school for wizards. Contrast with Conan’s early life.

    As for “Valeria,” it’s my impression that she’s simply an extra. She isn’t *the* Valeria (either of them), luckily.

    Ralph, I can’t say I agree. There are a few stories where Conan is very definitely more a hero than an anti-hero, and he has to make decisions. “The Servants of Bit-Yakin” is the most profound of these, where he has to choose between saving a box of priceless jewels, or a dancing wench, from falling into the abyss. He doesn’t even pause: he saves the girl. As for evil: well, I think many of the sorcerers and horrors he meets are far more evil than Conan is. Conan never the victim? “A Witch Shall Be Born,” “Rogues in the House” and practically all the king stories beg to differ. Sure, he isn’t broken or utterly powerless, but you definitely want him to get revenge against his tormentors.

    There are a few stories where Conan, while savage and dangerous as he ever was, is far more heroic than in others. “Beyond the Black River,” “The Black Stranger,” and again the King stories all portray a man willing to put his life on the line for others. “The Devil in Iron” has him go to an uncharted island, alone, to rescue a girl he doesn’t even know. “People of the Black Circle” could almost be shown as a hero’s journey, as he starts off kidnapping the Devi to barter for his men, but by the end of the story, he’s planning on rescuing her from a castle of wizards simply to save her life. He even lets her go at the end, even if he does get his “ransom” (which is as much a reward for rescuing the Devi as it is a ransom). So does “The Tower of the Elephant”: he starts off a wild man who will kill on provocation, but when he meets Yogah, he shows pity, and stays his hand. Even “Black Colossus” has Conan showing concern for his soldiers.

    But, as you say, even that might be too much for the dunderheads at Hollywood. More’s the pity.

    Rabensblut: I think you’ll find a lot of REH fans are metalheads. I’m a Manilla Road man myself.


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