Fantasy fans hoping to see Arnold Schwarzenegger swing his sword as Conan of Cimmeria one more time needn’t give up hope. The action movie icon still plans to star in the long-gestating third Conan movie.
Schwarzenegger offered an update on the film’s status while at the Cannes Film Festival.
“It’s being rewritten,” Schwarzenegger tells Screen. “The idea is to do it.”
Producer Chris Morgan had previously stated that the plans for this third Conan movie, titled Conan the Conqueror, has been scrapped, though they left the door open for possibly turning it into a television series. Apparently, the film has now returned to the drawing board, or to the writer’s desk as the case may be.
That said, getting a rewrite is a long way from entering pre-production, production, or having a date on the schedule. Whether Conan the Conqueror ever makes it out of development and onto a movie screen still remains to be seen.
The current version of Conan the Conqueror is said to be inspired by the Clint Eastwood's western movie Unforgiven. The script would catch up with Schwarzenegger’s Conan 30 years after the events of the first Conan movie, Conan the Barbarian.
Conan the Conqueror was originally teased to follow the second Conan movie, Conan the Destroyer, but the producers turned sour on the idea when spinoff film Red Sonja was critically lambasted. With Schwarzenegger’s schedule filling up with films like Predator, Conan the Destroyer fell into development hell. Pieces of the film’s script were eventually salvaged and used in the Kull the Conqueror movie, which was based on a similar character created by Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan.
After Warner Bros. allowed the film rights to Conan to expire, the next Conan movie was made by Millennium Studios, the same studio now charged with rebooting Hellboy. Millennium cast former Game of Thrones star and current Aquaman Jason Momoa as Conan. The film, also titled Conan the Barbarian, was totally unrelated to the Schwarzenegger franchise. It ultimately bombed at the box office and was unloved by critics.
Schwarzenegger once refused to return to his sword and sandals roots, but his tune has changed since leaving the office of governor of California. In addition to plugging away at Conan the Conqueror, Schwarzenegger has also confirmed that he will return for the next Terminator movie, though he will not be a part of Shane Black’s Predator movie.
Conan is a pulp sword and sorcery hero created by Robert E. Howard in 1932. His adventures have been chronicled in pulp fiction magazine, books, comics, movies and video games, and he’s become an archetype ingrained in popular culture’s understanding of the fantasy genre.