Conan producer and possible writer Chris Morgan spoke with the Los Angeles Times about his basic ideas for The Legend of Conan, which appears to really be happening. We've heard a little about this before, but now things are getting a bit more specific. It's basically going to be a Rocky Balboa remake, though I doubt it will have the same reliance on teary monologues.
Morgan tells the newspaper, "I want the warrior whose joints have started to fuse together, who has to crack the cartilage so he can pick up a sword again. I want the guy who's not necessarily lost a step, but there's some rust he has to shake off. I want to embrace that. It makes a greater hero story." To put that another way:
So Conan will have to come out of retirement, in some fashion. What's he fighting? Self-doubt, of course! (I'll spare you the Rocky Balboa "Stuff in the Basement Speech," awesome as it is.)
According to Morgan, "The greatest challenge to him isn't the armies that are set before him. It's, on some level, self-doubt, a little bit of slowing down and forcing yourself to be heroic beyond what people expect of you." Actually, it sounds like teary monologues might make the film, after all.
I'm very curious about this project. In my mind, this is the film that will define the success or failure of Arnold's dawning Old Man era (well, either this or Triplets, anyway). We know Stallone has been able to pull it off, but Schwarzenegger's not as good an actor. It's going to be interesting seeing him play to the realistic gravity of age, which this Conan film will demand more so than his upcoming The Last Stand, for instance, which appears too quippy and silly for that sort of thing.
The Legend of Conan won't come out until 2014 at the earliest, so all this is a long way off. By the time it does come out, we'll probably already know what we think of Old Arnold. If it's not working, this could provide course correction. If it is working, Conan might just be a massive victory lap.