Great Hollywood Ideas #47
Look guys, over the past year, I’ve held down a steady job, ruined three relationships, ran a DJ business, written a shit ton of crappy articles, and created some artwork. And in that time, I have saved Hollywood the problem of thinking, by telling them what real America wants (#fuckthesnydercut), thus saving the film industry from themselves. Unfortunately they haven’t listened, they still are putting out shitty remakes of great movies, not remaking shitty movies, and thus wallowing in politics.
Luckily for them, it is our slow time at work, and I will once again come fourth, and give them a golden idea. Now, don’t get me wrong, this idea will not reach the scale of the Avengers, but I really think that it can fill a niche that is all too soon filled with made for DVD movies, and they suck.
Now hear me out, we have the DCEU. We have the MCU, there have been a lot of cool individual movies. We have the #spoilerverse. But what this world needs….a #CONANVERSE.
You heard me, we need to have a line of movies that are intertwined, share characters, share a world, that centers around Conan the Barbarian.
Now, I realize that nobody is going to replace Arnold as Conan. His performance in Conan the Barbarian almost makes me forgive how average Conan the Destroyer was. He was great, but some parts of that movie got a little out of pocket. Though Grace Jones was and is the image of sexy as her role as Zula.
To start with, you need to get a good writer. Pair him up with someone who is familiar with the source material and genre (Jim Zub), you need a director/producer who has a vision, and looks beyond the one movie, and allows for other characters to develop and spin off (Red Sonja), and you need a great Conan the Cimmerian.
The first movie will make or break the universe. You can’t have Arnold play him, because he’s way too old. There are plenty of young guys who can look the part. There are plenty of actors who can act the part, but to get the look and acting down….thats the hard part.
Jason Momoa took a shot, and definitely looked the part. Unfortunately, the script was so so, and they wrote the character wrong in my opinion. As a barbarian, Momoa was mighty wordy. He talked a lot. When Arnold filmed his version, part of his appeal was that he was a man of few words. So when he did talk, you listened.
Conan being a hero is really not high on his priority list actually. He does heroic deeds mostly because it will assure his survival. Or, it will line his pockets with gold and jewels. To be a hero, not that high on his list.
Conan was, though never really stated, quite the cocksmith, with many a lover throughout the lands. He seems to generally respect women, avoids fighting them at all costs, and there are a few tales of him saving a woman over a treasure’ He may be from a barbaric culture, but he is really quite the complex character.
And since he is a traveler, that allows for him to meet interesting characters, fight all types of adversaries, and also allow for many different story lines and scenarios. Throughout his history, he’s been a thief, and outlaw, a warrior, a mercenary, and a pirate. He also committed heroic acts, saved many people, and more often than not, was an anti hero at worst.
I am a Red Sonja fan, so of course I am going to want her to be involved in the Conanverse. She has had more than a few reboots, and re do’s, so there is plenty of source material to choose from. I think that she could be a great sidekick for Conan, but a strong enough character to go off, and be a positive character for young ladies.
The only drawback to that, is Red Sonja is known for her chainmail bikini, and lets face it, that movie can be made, but it might miss the mainstream mark. Known for her beauty and fighting ability, I really think she can be reimagined, where she is sexy enough to keep the old fans happy, but conservatively dressed enough so that her strength is talked about, not her booty. (in equal amounts) I just hope that they have enough time to let her develop, so the spin offs can go off their own merit, and it’s not all back story, because it’s not pleasant.
Akiro was the good sorcerer, who befriends Conan in the original movies. He was a grunty, groany, little bald monklike character, and one of my favorites. He was funny, caring, and also stern. Definitely a good ally, especially with all the evil sorcerors afoot.
Belit could also be in the stories. I do not see her getting her own movie, but she could be a strong sidekick. She is a Pirate Queen, of course a lover of Conan, and you know what makes every adventure movie better…that’s right…Pirates. She could go back and fourth as an ally and foe, due to the nature of their relationship.
Fafnir has potential to spin off as well. Big red beard, warrior, and a pirate captain as well. He might pair well with Belit for a film, as competing pirates, or paired together to fight off a common enemy. Worked for Jack Sparrow.
Jenna was another of Conan’s girlfriends, but she betrayed him. I think that she would make a nice story, going side by side with the main. Picture this, Conan is on one of his adventures, and doesn’t give her enough attention, and she goes a little batty, and turns him in, thus making his life more difficult. I’ve been married twice, I can totally see this.
Mikhal “the Vulture” Oglu was Yezdigerd’s enforcer. Considered the greatest swordsman of all, he challenges Conan. Lets just say the comic wasn’t called “Oglu”. In the comic he is slain, but I wouldn’t be mad if they rewrote it, left him near death, so that he could pursue Conan.
Subotai is a thief and an archer. He’s a solid companion when Conan is performing dodgy actions, and can come and go, with the excuse of a pocket full of gold, and a heart full of vices. Alone he may not be enough for a movie in the Conanverse, but paired, maybe. He could definitely show up in the other movies I have mentioned.
Thoth-Amon was use in Conan the Destroyer, but he was a lifelong adversary of Conan, and I think that he could have a role that was more than one and done. I’d like to see him as described in the novels, he had a distinct look, but in Destroyer, he came across as a bit campy. I’m going to blame the studio’s for that mess of a film, but I really think he could be a strong adversary, much like Thanos. If he was popular enough, it would be cool to see a movie maybe depicting his early years, up until he met Conan.
Thulsa Doom is a necromancer, and Conan’s adversary more than once. He was played by James Earl Jones in the originals, but I would definitely want him back as an adversary. I could also see an origin story for him. I am a mark for movies about villains.
Valeria is a female mercenary that shows up from time to time. As a mercenary, she can come and go as she pleases, but can come in handy whenever an extra sword is needed.
Yara would be a great character. Another powerful wizard. My fear is too many wizards.
Yasmina could be Conan’s sanctuary, the queen who welcomes him in, and shelters him in time of need, and also someone who can give the sage advice that a warrior needs, with fresh eyes.
Yezdigerd uses Conan as a mercenary in the comics, until he betrays him. He could never betray him, and be the onus to Conan’s adventures, as he performs tasks for him. He’s the Charlie to Conan’s Angel.
Zenobia is a girlfriend of Conan, who he saved at one point. I think she’d be a nice addition for some drama, and you could make her the stay at home type, or a travelling companion. Honestly, he doesn’t really need any more women in his life travelling with him.
Zukala is another evil sorcerer, who gets his power from a mask. His daughter falls in love with Conan in the books. There is so many ways this relationship between him and Conan could go, and also a good foe.
So as you see, dear readers, there is a really good base of characters just from past endeavors, just ripe to be reimagined. Not to mention the fact, that there are countless monsters he can encounter, though less is more. I don’t wan’t a giant CGI fest. I want live action, not green screen if at all possible.
The best part, you aren’t expecting a billion dollar movie. You are playing to a niche crowd, and some mainstream public. Realistically, with a good script, you can make a good movie for around $50-$75 million dollars, probably make $250 million or so world wide, and have a nice little profit generator every year or so. If you can find that right unknown (Arnold was virtually unknown at the time), mix in some known but not huge actors (Jet Li as Akiro), and I think that you can make a sustainable universe.
The hardest part is the parental ratings. The hardest part about Conan is it realistically should be an R rated film. There is violence. There should be nudity. There should be blood shed. Language might be a problem, though not as much as you would think. There will be some adult situations.
The positive part is that there are lots of strong female characters, who are strong on their own merit. Yes, you do have the classic man saves woman, but with these characters, the women will have many logical chances to save men as well. It would be like they were almost…gasp…equal.
Maybe this is just one of my adolescent fantasies that will never come to fruition. Maybe the #spoilerverse will blow up, we’ll pump Eli full of steroids so he can play Conan, and we’ll make it happen.
Just don’t let Jordan Peele direct, or Trace Adkins have a role in it.
As always, @jaycanchu on the Twitter machine and Instagram. Check out the other articles on here, and enjoy Sara K, Eli, Robert, Overlord John, and everyone else who writes and I don’t have as much contact with so I forget. Then listen to a few podcasts, drop some money into the patreon, and go get a sandwich.
Crush your enemies, Drive them before you, and hear the lamentations of their women…then be kind to whoever is left.