Empire’s April 2011 issue – including the debut of Khalar Zym! (Update)

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from Empire’s preview, save that there would likely be a few interesting new pieces of information, some commentary from the filmmakers, maybe one or two new pictures. Well, Empire’s pulled through again: not only are there some lovely new pictures of Jason Momoa for his fangirls (and fanboys, of course), but we have what could be the first clear look at Stephen Lang as Khalar Zym!

A warning: I’ll refrain from spoilers as much as I can, but the images included in this post are simply vast, vast, vast, vast pictures. Vast. Dare you click on?

Many Asuran spies died to nab a copy of Empire’s April 2011 issue, and I don’t intend their deaths to be in vain. As such, I offer their prizes: a few scans of the upcoming issue with analysis, and a few comments on the article itself.

First, the pictures.

This is obviously the picture previewed on the magazine website. Conan’s expression is somewhat ambiguous: is it anger, fear, surprise, disgust, confusion? Wondering who’s bright idea it was to give him a manica harness and lighting that that makes his pecs the envy of Jane Russell? (OK, ok, I’ll shut up…) Getting a closer look at the manica really puts me in mind of Kirk Douglas’ Spartacus:

Anyway…

Nice dynamic shot of the Cimmerian here, his “great muscles swelling in anticipation of murderous blows,” and we can see a good few nasty-looking scars. His hair looks nice and black, too. The setting appears to be the same as in the first official shot, which also first appeared in Empire. It’s also probably the place where the infamous “ninja mummy” stunt was shot, and Conan’s stance is possibly from that very scene, just as he’s about to cut some poor beastie’s legs from underneath itself. I vastly prefer his costume here to the manica one.

Another shot of the manica ensemble. Conan’s added another weapon to his ensemble in a small dagger, though whether it’s an enemy weapon turned on its owner or otherwise isn’t clear from context. I also note his chest looks a lot better here, and Momoa’s expression is my favourite so far: intimidating and fierce, but naturally so. This scene appears to be shot in the same place as the second official still, of Conan riding through a forest in pursuit of the mysterious carriage with the unknown symbol on the front: I guess Conan caught up with them, or at least some of the luckless guards.

The last of the pictures featuring Conan also shows what could be our first look at Remo, a character whose actor has still not been officially announced. Why do I think it’s Remo? Well, that would be spoilers: I’ll discuss that later.

So, the first unambiguous reveal of the main villain of Conan the Barbarian (2011) is tucked away in a small picture in Empire. And he isn’t even the main focus, he’s just sort of peeking in from the side. Ok. Let’s have a closer look.

Now who is this gigantic fellow? He clearly has more than a few inches on the 5’10″ Stephen Lang, and may be as much as a whole foot taller. I believe this gentleman here is, indeed, Nathan Jones: though understandably difficult to recognize under the makeup, the proportions of his face do seem to match up – not to mention his sheer height. Jones was rumoured to be playing a part in the upcoming film, and one of The Pictures We Aren’t Allowed To Talk About sported a gigantic warrior in the background about a head taller than anyone else with the same hairstyle as this chap here. Being 6’11″ and exceedingly well built, Jones is one of Hollywood’s go-to men when they require a Professional Huge Person with prodigious thews. Thus, this might be our first shot of Nathan Jones’ character in the film, who I believe to be the Cyclopean “Jailer” who features in the early script.

Well, what to make of our villain? Lang’s wearing a different costume from the horseman in gold-and-purple we had previously suspected could be Khalar, as well as the mysterious figure on the divan in The Pictures We Aren’t Allowed To Talk About, but there’s no reason why he can’t have multiple costumes in the film. This costume is less lavish and more practical looking to me: a stylized muscled cuirass, layered pauldrons, leather bracer, a few belts. Khalar also sports a fairly subtle goatee, and his hair is tied into a few braids. No sign of the dreaded Double-Bladed Parallel Scimitar, sadly.

I’d like to make mention of one thing:

Where are Conan’s blue eyes?

They’re one of the most easily recognizable things about him, they’re one of the most frequently used descriptions of Conan’s appearance, and they’d be incredibly easy to implement with modern makeup techniques. They got the woman who did the contact lenses for Black Swan, and there’s no sign of blue contacts for Conan the Cimmerian? I mean, I know Jason’s big brown eyes could melt a gal’s heart, but come on. Hopefully they’ll CGI some blue eyes in later, but you’d think Nispel would go for the low-tech solution.

Editorial

First of all, I’m not going to reproduce the entirety of the article here, not least because I don’t want to leave Empire in the lurch. However, I will take some excerpts and discuss them.

The first part of the article immediately leaps into the fore with something of a challenge to Conan fandom:

“Yeah, we’re in trouble alright!” The fact that Marcus Nispel, director of Lionsgate Studio’s new Conan movie, is laughing provides the first hint that he speaks here not of production problems or studio dissatisfaction. Everyone is extremely happy with the new Conan The Barbarian. He speaks, instead, of the mighty warrior’s forthcoming confrontation with his greatest enemy. Forget Thulsa Doom; forget Thoth-Amon. Conan is going up against the Cult Of Fandom. “We’re ****ed!” jokes Nispel.

Those last two sentences seem especially pertinent, given the frosty reaction the film’s leaked synopsis received. Still, the film isn’t out yet… Nispel is enthusiastic, and pleased with the project so far. He doesn’t seem to be too worried about the film’s reception, and insists that although he loved the 1982 film, his won’t be a simple retread. Given the somewhat mixed signals the film’s promotional people are sending, it’s something that needs to be constantly reiterated.

Sean Hood also drops by with some comments, reiterating how the R rating provides far more scope for sexuality and violence suited for a sexual and violent time. Avi Lerner, he who reportedly courted Arnold for a one-day-cameo, even says he has a particularly good feeling about it, citing high production values and “thousands of extras.” While we can’t say for sure, there was certainly quite a sizeable quantity in the behind-the-scenes images recently unearthed.

Nispel returns to comment on how there’s still a lot of work to do, and most encouragingly, he cites Apocalypto as an influence – a very Howardian film, if I do say so myself. Nispel also gives props to Momoa (everyone seems to love the big guy, which makes me all the more anxious to see him in action) and comments on why Jared Padalecki was ultimately discounted, and a worldwide search all the way to Russia and Iraq.

Nispel retells the tale of Momoa’s audition, with a couple of salty embellishments, and mentions a few words of advice from John Milius. However, the most interesting, and I’d say extremely important, factor is one that some people use as an argument against Momoa:

“Conan needs to be the kind of guy that grabs a girl’s ass, and she laughs and he most likely gets laid that night. Whereas if you and I did that, she’d slap us and sue us for the rest of our lives,” as Nispel succinctly puts it. “That’s what we were looking for, and I knew we found it in Jason. He made all the Lionsgate office girls swoon.”

While I don’t like the choice of words Nispel used, he brings up a vital point. A great number of commentators are critical of Momoa for being too “pretty,” or “metrosexual,” or “soft” to play Conan. Usually these critics are men: “we want our Conan hard, rough, ugly and brutish, not some Baywatch alumnus with strokable hair and squeezable skin,” they seem to say. No doubt some women say that too, of course. Hell, here’s what Howard said about him:

Conan’s the damnedest bastard that ever was. He got a long black mane of hair, crystal blue eyes. He’s a fighter, born on the battlefield. To him, combat’s a way of life. It’s all he’s ever known, all he ever wants to know! He’s no soldier who was taught to fight. To him fighting’s an instinct, it’s a part of him. Like his legs, his arms, his chest, his bull neck. And believe me, he don’t take it from nobody. He’ll fight man, beast, devil or god.
- Robert E. Howard describes Conan to Novalyne Price, The Whole Wide World

But that’s just what men want from Conan: what do women want? Howard himself provided the answer:

“And when those women feel those tree-trunk firm arms around their waist, they melt like butter on a hot skillet.”
- The Whole Wide World

It can be easy to forget that Conan is not only an indomitable warrior and defiant barbarian, but possessing a fierce, compelling magnetism that women find utterly irresistible. Think of the number of stories where women are almost instinctively attracted to him, how his primal vitality is more intoxicating and potent than anything they’d experienced before. If Jason Momoa can do that to the female audience, then that’s fantastic, and most emphatically a vital part of Conan’s personality.

Does this have to be at the expense of his masculinity? I don’t think so. Judging from Stargate Atlantis, Momoa is exceedingly skilled in fight choreography, especially for a man of his size. A warrior is defined by how he fights, not how he looks, after all. If he moves and acts like the vicious warrior we all know and love, then what matter if he isn’t as muscular as Arnold, or as weathered as Charles Bronson?

Nispel goes on to question old Sword-and-Sorcery tropes (“why doesn’t the wizard just turn Conan into a rabbit?” he opines) and subverts Richard Schickel’s preposterous “Star Wars by a Psychopath” review of Conan the Barbarian by using such a review as an aspiration.

A rare appearance by Joshua Oppenheimer follows:

“We could have stretched out a single short story,” he tells Empire, “but we opted to create a new one: one which spoke to the medium it was being created for. Our intention was to create something that fit snugly within the existing Conan mythology, which was hardly less of a challenge than making one of the original stories work within a traditional three-act structure.”

I have to wonder what the reaction would be if Peter Jackson announced that, instead of filming The Hobbit, he opted to create a new adventure for Bilbo Baggins, one that “fit snugly within the existing Middle-earth mythology.” I can’t imagine it being that accommodating. As for adapting one of the original stories (which have been translated nearly word-for-word into comics, not to mention “Pigeons from Hell,” which was excellently and faithfully translated to a televisual format with negligible differences), well, from what I’ve heard, Dirk Blackman does that reasonably well.

Sean Hood follows up with a criticism of Donnelly & Oppenheimer’s script, and addresses the apparent difficulty in adapting Howard from page to screen:

“Conan seemed to embrace and trumpet a higher purpose. I didn’t think that was true to his character. Some characters are compelling precisely because, despite enormous danger and pressure, they heroically refuse to change… I’m always struck by the way illustrations of H.P. Lovecraft’s monsters look so childish and cheesy, while his stories are so nightmarish,” says Hood. “Likewise, Robert E. Howard’s writing isn’t fairly represented by a muscle-man in a loincloth with a buxom babe. There is a gravitas, a raw passion and intensity that can get completely lost.”

While I still can’t understand the idea of Howard’s plots being difficult to translate to screen, perhaps it’s Howard’s powerful, evocative prose that would be lost in the translation to medium. Take this sheer prose poetry from “Queen of the Black Coast”:

A huge naked black stood crotch-deep in the jewel-brimming crypt, scooping up great handfuls of splendor to pass them to the eager hands above. Strings of frozen iridescence hung between his dusky fingers; drops of red fire dripped from his hands, piled high with starlight and rainbow. It was as if a black titan stood straddle-legged in the bright pits of hell, his lifted hands full of stars.

What is technically happening is one of the Black Corsairs of Conan’s crew is gathering treasure from a crypt, and passing them upwards to his mates. Howard takes this completely mundane task, and transforms it into a cosmic tableau, one that describes the simple action as if it was part of a mythic cycle. When put that way, how could one translate that sheer power from words to imagery? It would take a remarkable director to render such powerful words into a powerful vision.

Is Marcus Nispel up to the task? We’ll just have to wait and see. He has a lot to prove after Pathfinder and the horror remakes: we’ll see if Conan’s the film where he finally proves  what he’s made of to the world.

There’s a lot more in the article than I’ve described, and if it’s available where you are, I highly recommend getting this issue of Empire. Owen Williams has proven himself to be admirably well-informed as popular journalists go, and he mixes information and wit with aplomb. I especially appreciated the vulture analogy, and the cheeky “Guide to Hyboria.” Even the Howardist pedant in me didn’t mind the odd inaccuracy and minor pastiche intrusion. Another winner, Owen!

Empire for April 2011 is out now.

EDIT: A couple of sources linking to the blog (cheers, guys!) seem to be accidentally conflating the characters of Remo and the Jailer. If my wording or phrasing was unclear, I apologise. Thus, I’d like to elucidate that Remo and the Jailer are two different characters in all the versions of the script I’m aware of. Remo is listed in the casting sheet:

He’s in his 30s, any ethnicity, thin, feral, misshapen, a mysterious warrior of dark magic who travels by shadow and surprises men with a quick death. He leads a band of tracking Shadow Scouts under Khalar Singh’s employ. He can be immensely fast and devious, his soul as twisted as his body.

The Jailer is not mentioned in the casting sheet, but he is in the synopsis and both scripts:

Once inside the fortress, Conan (meets) the massive JAILER

Combined with the fact that the man tied to the catapult has a different hairstyle and is far smaller than the hulk in the Stephen Lang photograph, I’m pretty sure that the former is Remo, and the latter is the Jailer.

Hopefully that clears things up.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 at 5:06 pm and is filed under Official Conan Movie 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.

  • Dina

    New pix!! This is looking far better than I anticipated! Updates on Conan seems to be going much faster than the last few months thank God! Now where’s my trailer?

  • http://poderfriki.com Kike

    I remember that they already said that they prefer to CGI the eyes. I hope it is true… Long black hair and cristal blue eyes, people!!!

    Khalar Zym don’t look very impressive, in my opinion.

  • http://genrehacks.com Sean Hood

    Mamoa couldn’t wear his contacts in certain fight/action scenes, and certain locations because of smoke, sand and other irritants. My understanding is that where the blue eyes are missing, they will be added with CGI.

  • Cougarbelle

    Jason doesn’t have brown eyes that melt a girl’s heart. He has beautiful, green eyes that makes a girl tingle. Good article otherwise though. Thank you.

  • http://poderfriki.com Kike

    Thanks for the comment, Sean.

  • norse_sage

    I hope you are right, mr. Hood. Thanks for the input.
    And thank you, Taranaich for the pictures.
    This movie is crawling ever higher on my list of anticipated movies.

  • http://genrehacks.com Sean Hood

    Also… check out the new conan poster and website.

    http://conanthebarbarianin3d.com/

    (I may be a screenwriter, but I’m still a movie geek)

  • Steve Harris

    As a young Conan, he’s ok, I’ll admit. But for an adult Conan, they should have taken a guy twice as large, I mean look at the 6th photo from the top, with the dude hung up in a net with the filmcrew running around.

    Khalar Zym? Lang is a good actor, but Avatar was a major smack in the family jewels it was so bad and cliché.
    Now we have costumes (Khalar Zym and the rasta villain in this article), thanks to M.Nispel, that looks like someone blended in :
    Pathfinder , 10000BC and Stargate along with some LARP accessories.

    PLEEAAAASE…

    All in all, Momoa looks a tad better than Lang and his henchmen, better than Sapp and the other supporting actors we’ve seen so far in costume. At least we have -that- .

    It’s a disaster.

  • Matt Sullivan

    “The Jailer” looks like something out of an old Savage Sword comic. I know people will bitch about adding ogreish creatures, but I think that dude looks pretty cool. Also, I’m diggin’ Mamoa’s expressions. His size, in these pictures…Yeah, he is a tad small for Conan as we know him. However, If this is a young Conan, he must have room to grow…Add another 20 pounds for the next film and we’ll call it fair. Still, overall, I’m diggin’ the Mamoa look.

  • Ray

    That is in fact Nathan Jones. His character’s name is Akhun. I loved his make-up and overall presence in the film. The guy is definitely not big and clumsy like many huge guys can be but he’s rather very athletic and yes…that is a picture of Remo…at least the back of his head ;)

  • Martin

    Perhaps there’s an in-universe reason for the manica besides covering Momoa’s tattoo. Perhaps Conan’s unconventional fighting style involves blocking blows with his left arm, or he just looted it off someone and wears it because he can… Otherwise it’s very reminiscent of Dark Horse’s Born on the Battlefield.

    I still wish he had a fringe (aka bangs). For the next movie then?

  • Matt Sullivan

    @ Steve Harris. You are the Bass player in Iron Maiden, right?

  • Gazonga

    Dare I say that THIS looks finally like something I am looking forward too. These are production shots that should’ve been leaked and trickled over the web half a year or longer ago. Maybe a blog by Momoa or Nispel. A large portion of the negativity would’ve been quenched before it even came up.

    Of course the base story line is still turdy, but at least the production looks like it’s worth something. At the very least it will not look like a low budget crap movie and not ruin the Conan brand forever.

    Now we can only hope that Seans magic hands could turn the horrible screenplay from the Doppenheimers into something good. *pressing thumbs*

  • Steve Dilks

    Steve Harris: Yeah it most likely is a crap blend of all those movies together now you mention it. Sorry to Sean Hood, who I’m sure is a swell guy, but I don’t trust anything anyone has worked on this movie says. Of course we are all going to be pleasantly suprised and so forth but really its “10.0000 B.C.” in disguise. Hang on wasn’t the storyline of that movie very similar to “Apocalypto”? Even the lead character looked like Jason Momoa in “Stargate: Atlantis”!
    By the way I thought our man Momoa was 6 foot 4. How come in that set shot with Remo (terribley unimaginative name) Marcus Nispel(he of the beard) is taller than him?

  • AntmanX

    That guy is Conan to me. Regardless of any other factors (real or imagined) I am very excited to see this portrayal of Conan. Put any other actor in that get-up and see if they pull it off like Momoa. I’m impressed.

  • Matt Sullivan

    AntmanX makes a good point. I think many of us are underestimating just how difficult it is to make a real person look like Conan, and not look ridiculous.

  • Matt Sullivan

    And if I hear someone say “Triple H could do it”, I’m just gonna snap!

  • Duffy

    “That guy is Conan to me. Regardless of any other factors (real or imagined) I am very excited to see this portrayal of Conan. Put any other actor in that get-up and see if they pull it off like Momoa. I’m impressed.”

    I think he looks good too. Not just any actor could pull that off as well. He has a primitive air about him that melts into the Conan persona. If he can be as convincing in action he will make a great Conan!

  • Ray

    Steve Dilks: Marcus Nispel is a big dude himself, if not big he’s at least tall ;) He was definitely taller than I was and I’m 6’1″. My guess is that he’s in fact close to 6’4″ or taller.

  • Athgul

    Lets be really honest guys, Jason will be a dam site better than Ralf and Arnold in style and pressence in this new movie. It will bring new kids to the fold of REH no matter what message the film delivers. Guaranteed

    I wonder if Bob was alive today, what would his favourite one have been out of the three of them (not the cartoon though!)
    Would he have preferred Arnolds mono visioned drawl and one tiered diatribe. Ralf’s slow motioned trudging display of skill with a sword, or Jason’s skilled athletic seasoned warrior display? Suppose we’ll get the answer after the film is out from the many Howard scholars that will either condemn or applaud it.

    I really can not wait for both the film and people maybe eating their own shorts or not!

    Straight from the Conan forums!! lazy today…. :)

  • Axon Rey

    I think this is shaping up nicer than most had thought. Also, a grown ass man with bangs would look ridicilous. The lack of such a hairstyle is a liberty I’m willing to accept.

  • Chuck Boone

    This movie is gonna be Badass….No doubt in my mind.Can’t wait.I didn’t experience this much anticipation when waiting for my kids to be born.

  • Chuck Boone

    I wouldn’t want to be a crow the day after the premier.Half of the species will be extinct from being eaten by all the nay sayers.I wouldn’t be surprised if the theater refreshment stands will be offering free servings of crow with a large box of popcorn.LOL LOL.

  • Steve Dilks

    Chuck Boone; Love your attitude fella.

  • Steve Dilks

    Compare this too the fifth photo down and tell me Momoa is not Barry Smith’s interpretation made flesh.
    http://i336.photobucket.com/albums/n350/blackstorme/conan-bws-ctbks231.jpg

  • Max

    “I have to wonder what the reaction would be if Peter Jackson announced that, instead of filming The Hobbit, he opted to create a new adventure for Bilbo Baggins, one that “fit snugly within the existing Middle-earth mythology.” I can’t imagine it being that accommodating.”

    While Jackson is adapting “The Hobbit,” he is, by all accounts, is embellishing it and indeed creating and adding parts to the story that are not in the book but that nevertheless are expected to “fit snugly within the existing Middle Earth mythology.”

    Granted, much of that is said to come from some of Tolkien’s other works and notes, but we shall see …

  • Triple H

    Matt Sullivan: I can do it!

  • Matt Sullivan

    Crom laughs at your three H’s!

  • Triple H

    In return I laugh at Crom’s face, and I spit some beer at his eye. Ha!

  • Steve Dilks

    Go Triple H!! He would make a much better Conan than Jason twiggy arm Momoa. He could hit Khalar Zym over the head with a plastic chair and throw him through some ropes! That would be so BAD ASS dudes!

  • Tommy S

    Could this be a prequel? John Travolta called, he needs his costume from Battlefield:Earth back.
    The trainwreck continues.

  • Seamvs

    Taranaich, I hope you getting paid for all this extensive work. Unless of course there really is nothing to do in Scotland. ;)

  • Seamvs

    Oh, BTW I appreciate it. :)

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  • Steve Dilks

    Tommy S: I blame “Star Trek: The next generation” for every prosthetic faced, leather armour clad fantasy movie made since 1992. Don’t forget the staple scenery for such a movie -woods, sand, some ruins- also have their share of representation here. Marcus Nispel says you could watch the movie now without the FX so 1,500 shots and four months of post production better account for something.

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  • Chupamela

    Que dices cabroncito? Hablas en INGLES por favor!
    All these photos coming from foreign sites are ripped off from this blog, hombre!!
    Hijo de la gran!

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  • Steve Dilks

    Sacre bleu, de nom Crom! A tout mes ami, bonsoir!

  • http://www.usashaolintemple.org hengfa

    ok. slightly stream of consciousness, i’m 3/4s of a way through a bottle of aberlour since yesterday and it’s been a tough swim so far, but let me be the first to say- hate the really fake looking sword. severely dislike the look of Kesar Saag or whatever kind of Indian food they got the villains name from. that mid pate hair do is not a good look for steve. he’s not only a kind of indian food, he’s also the president of hair club for men. why didn’t oppenheimer string together a few stories. that’s a pair of balls, if you ask me, what he wrote right there as quoted.

    also nobody seems to have noticed the Father’s Sword in the logo. Does it make an appearance. Is it also part of the revenge motif we’re getting socked with.

    sue me for wanting the same level of art that howard took it to in a movie about his character.

    ps to the person who pondered which howard would have liked…seriously man? he wouldn’t have let any of this happen.

    momoa looks good. god i hope he can act.

  • http://www.usashaolintemple.org hengfa

    pps i think the knife and the sword should be reversed in that one screen shot. maybe it’s super close combat.

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  • Owzars

    What a piece of shit this already is.

    Unbelievably enough, it looks even WORSE than one would expect even from the “director” of the TCMremake.

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  • Larry the Wolf

    Hey, I didn’t know that Fabio’s inbred cousin was an actor on “Xena”! This certainly looks okay for a SyFy TV series!

    Wait, what do you mean, “a movie”?
    And what do you mean, “Conan”?

  • http://stevenmillan.wordpress.com Steven Millan

    I’m going to hold my word on this film till it is officially released and I’m hoping that it’s good(even though it looks more like an Indonesian sword-and-sorcery film than a new CONAN movie).

  • Michael Bryan Walt

    First time here. Didn’t know this site existed til just a little bit ago(7 March… about tea time). Nice place to visit. Now, if anyone cares about my humble opinion(and I imagine you folks couldn’t care a rat’s ass one way or the other), being a Robert E. Howard fan since I was seven(I’m 51 now)and first reading “Frost Giant’s Daughter” and everything else the man wrote, I think I have a fairly good idea/take on Conan. So… will this be a great interpretation of Howard’s character? I’m not hedging bets on it. I agree with the author of this article… basically, it looks good. But looks don’t amount to a hill of Cimmerian beans(or blood dripping swords)if love for the source material isn’t there. And, I don’t think it is. The director, Marcus Nispel, seems(to me)to have a flippant attitude toward Robert E.’s work(this is based on other articles I’ve read elsewhere), which makes me think that he and the production(cast and crew alike)are not fans. And that is what a real serious film adaption of Howard’s character needs… fans. Let me emphasize that — FANS!!! I hope I’m wrong, Crom knows, I’ve been wrong before(not about films, but other things). This seems like it will be — to borrow a catch line — “the Diet Coke of Conan. Just not Conan enough!” I have a great deal more to type, but this post(like all the others I’ve done — Damn me) is turning into a short novel. So, I’ll end it here. Thanks for reading.

  • http://poderfriki.com Kike

    “Conan seemed to embrace and trumpet a higher purpose. I didn’t think that was true to his character. Some characters are compelling precisely because, despite enormous danger and pressure, they heroically refuse to change…”

    This is very important. I think Sean have a point here.

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  • http://www.vore.org Page Townsley

    I think Momoa “looks” good as Conan, no complaints there. We’ll have to see how he acts the part. My biggest worry about this film is the director. Nispel’s track record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Pathfinder was a truly horrible film. I hope his chops have gotten better since then.

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  • http://dweomera.blogspot.com lagomorph_Rex

    I think that bit about not being able to translate a single REH plot into a film is just double-speak code for “Robert E. Howard didn’t write an origin story and Hollywood demands the series start with an origin story and it was easier/cheaper to write a brand new one than to license every story which has some of Conan’s origin written in them”

    I could be wrong.. but thats how I read it.

    These photos for the most part look pretty good to me.. though I hated Pathfinder.. so I really want Nispel to redeem himself for that abomination. But then.. I liked Hawk the Slayer.. so chances are I’ll like this too.

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  • http://CromsMountain Tiger

    As an avid fan of Robert E. Howard , for the past 40 years , i am really liking Momoa as a young Conan . I just think they shoulda had the Venarium Battle as a beginning of the story . The Cimmerians destoying the Aquilonian invaders . Conan’s name being spoken around the Council fires , his capture and escape by Hyperborean Slavers . Hell , even his battles in Asgard , with the daughter of Ymir Atali mocking him in the frozen wastelands .Lets be honest , the chances of Hyrkanian Invaders to Cimmeria are zero . Just more hollywood bullshit . If the movie industry really cared about Robert E. Howards Conan , his greatest character would be given the respect he deserves .

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  • Ide

    I don’t know the dude looks like conan to me blue eyes added of course. I love the arnie movie but come on he never really looked like conan to me. He was big in the first but wasn’t cut. In the second well that one sucked, he had blond hair, But cut wise he could have jumped right out of the comic. I think momoa is gonna do a good job. His intimidating look is way better than arnold’s. Conan suppose to be athletic, ripped and fast. I think this version of conan is what Howard is after. Not sum big ass body builder dude who so slow. Like Triple H.

    Since everyones perception of what conan looks like comes from arnold or comic books shit they make everyone look huge and totally unrealistic.

    As for the manica harness hell that ones easy to figure, They want to give him some armor but don’t want to cover him completely up with it. Why you ask cause they want to put the chicks in the seats too. Got to give them eye candy too.

  • Robert the Brit

    What people keep forgetting is this film is not for Fans….it’s for mass enetertainment. As people say Americans for some reason seem to need a origin story! The cold bleak north is A) Expensive TO FILM in,or CGI well and B)and for people who forget that Conan atually wore clothes COLD. JM would have to wear clothes, now were’s the sexiness in that. I think JM is fine for a Young Conan. And if the film makes young boys (and maybe a few girls) read Howard go for it. In relation to coment about REH not allowing a film to be made…hello he would have of course he would he needed the money.

  • http://AoC Masked

    I believe Conan should obvioulsy be more cimerrian looking and not that of a polynesian

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