CATEGORIES Action, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Deals, Lionsgate Films, Scripts, Newsstand, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Remakes and Sequels, Movie News, CinematicalLionsgate is very eager to get their remake of Conan the Barbarian up and shooting. How can they not be? At this point, Conan spin-offs Thulsa Doom and Red Sonja are neatly beating it in the pre-production department (Red Sonja already has a star, a director, and merchandise already!), and both were green-lit after Conan. A sad state of affairs for the Cimmerian, indeed.
But it looks like things are moving again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they've has hired Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain to rework the script. They seem a pretty good fit for the pulpy source, being fresh off Outlander (which McCain also directed) and Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans. They're still looking for a director, but would anyone be surprised if they decided on McCain?
They're replacing Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, who wrote several drafts, apparently none of which was to the studio's liking. The CEO of Paradox Entertainment, Fredrik Malmberg, is aiming to stick close to the source material. He'd also like to become a franchise. (Is that a surprise to anyone? Thought not.) "There's no reason there couldn't be a Conan movie every two years. He's almost like Batman: He's a dark hero. He's a hard hero. He has to be badass, but we also have to like him."
Lionsgate is also looking to restart another long-delayed swords-and-loincloths project -- McCain and Blackman's Amazon, to which Scarlett Johansson has long been attached, has landed in the studio's loving hands. They're looking for a director for that, too. It wasn't that long ago that I wished for a resurgence of swords and sorcery -- and I'm getting it. It's going to be glorious! Chainmail bikinis and dudes with eight-packs, all worthy of being painted on the side of your van. Welcome back, 1980!