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Thursday
Oct252012

Arnold Signs On for “Conan” & Paradox Explains the “King” Title Change!

Back in early September, TheArnoldFans first broke the news that Schwarzenegger was working a deal to reprise his greatest role ever: Conan! As documented in the book "Arnold's Army: A Schwarzenegger Uprising," written by Randy Jennings of TAFs, The Austrian Oak told Randy that the fans should not despair. When asked if all hope was lost for the future of Conan, Arnold responded, “Not at all. Conan is very much alive,” Schwarzenegger confirmed, smiling. “We’re just now stirring the pot,” the future Conan star said while acting out a stirring motion with his all-powerful, sword-wielding, Wheel-of-Pain-pushing arms.

Now, in perhaps the greatest day for an Arnold fan in decades, the action hero has signed on officially with Universal! Deadline.com reveals now that "The Legend of Conan" will be produced by Fredrik Malmberg, CEO of Paradox Entertainment, and Chris Morgan. Malmberg is which holds the rights to Conan. 

"I always loved the Conan character and I’m honored to be asked to step into the role once again," says Arnold. I can’t wait to work with Universal and the great team of Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan to develop the next step of this truly epic story.”

 


Joakim Zetterberg of Paradox Entertainment tells us that Arnold Schwarzenegger talked highly of TheArnoldFans.com during the Conan business deal.

“Hi Randy, We’re very excited about today’s announcement and I hope you understand why we couldn’t say anything earlier. Also, when Fred (Fredrik Malmberg) met Schwarzenegger two weeks ago, Arnold mentioned his appreciation for TheArnoldFans to Fred.”

You see that, Arnold fans…all of your tweets and facebook messages have paid off! Schwarzenegger is listening to his fans! However, it’s looking less and less like we’ll be seeing the John Milius “King Conan: Crown of Iron” script come to life.

“The Milius script was commissioned by and is owned by a different studio so they can’t be used in this production, but we have great respect for Milius’s work,” Zetterberg tells TheArnoldFans.

But fear not; Schwarzenegger’s Conan character will still be a wise and barbaric ruler and I’m sure "The Legend of Conan" will still receive a blessing from Milius. The “Conan the Barbarian” director told me in one of his last interviews that he hopes Arnold does King Conan, even without him directing. Let’s hope Milius is hired on as a producer or a creative consultant.

Right now, Arnold fans are pumped with the news. The only thing that will make this better is when a future announcement comes in that the Basil Poledouris score will be adapted for "The Legend of Conan". 

“It’s too early in the process to say anything about the soundtrack but I don’t think there is a composer out there who doesn’t know of the fantastic Poledouris scores, which are owned by Varese Sarabande,” Zetterberg tells TheArnoldFans.

“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” Malmberg tells Deadline.com. “It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.”

In the comics titled King Conan, the Barbarian is meant to be an old and wise ruler. At the end of both Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, Schwarzenegger, in his late thirties, wears makeup and a gray beard meant to age the Barbarian to his mid-sixties. Arnold, now sixty-five, is the perfect age to grow out a real gray beard and pick up the Atlantean sword one final time.

“This movie picks up Conan where Arnold is now in his life, and we will be able to use the fact that he has aged in this story,” says Malmberg. “I love the property of Conan so much that I wouldn’t touch it unless we came up with something worthy. We think this is a worthy successor to the original film. Think of this as Conan’s Unforgiven.”

Sven-Ole Thorsen, who plays Thorgrim from Conan the Barbarian tells TheArnoldFans what the character means to Arnold. “I remember the first time I saw Conan the Barbarian at the end of the movie when Arnold is sitting on the throne as an older king, and it left such an impression on me – so that character of that movie has to be made. They can make it when he’s 80 years old or 70 years old. I’m sure that Conan is very close to his heart, and we very often talk about the days in Spain because we spent so long there shooting the first Conan, and we were really bonding with all the stuntmen and all the actors. So many great locations. So I do know that Conan is very close to Arnold’s heart.”

 
Ralf Moeller, one of Arnold’s closest friends and actor who played Conan in the 1997 TV series, was trained by Schwarzenegger himself on how to properly wield a barbaric sword. Moeller, who is no stranger to this genre (The Scorpion King, Gladiator), also tells TheArnoldFans that King Conan weighs heavily on Schwarzenegger’s mind. When I asked the 6'6" actor if he would star in King Conan along with Arnold, he told me “absolutely” and said there were recent discussions about the film. “We [Arnold and I] just talked about it recently, and we agreed that one of the characters to best come back with is Conan. It’s really an epic film, like Gladiator and these films, but King Conan would be huge!”

The studio wants The Legend of Conan for summer 2014. Read "Arnold's Army: A Schwarzenegger Uprising" to learn why John Milius can not direct the next film, what the co-stars of the original Conan thinks of Arnold returning, learn about Arnold's huge golfing accident with Gerry Lopez, Olivia d'Abo's first kiss and many more barbaric tales of high adventure! Thank you, thank you, Arnold for granting your fans our wish. Unlike Crom, who seldom listens, you're always there for the fans. You're the king.

 

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