The influence from Game of Thrones‘ success continues to resonate over at Amazon. We already know they are making a show based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings universe, and now it seems they also want to dip into the world created by Robert E. Howard and his famous barbarian, Conan the Cimmerian. According to Deadline, there are three main names behind the series; Writer/Creator Ryan Condal (The Colony, Hercules), Director Miguel Sapochnik (Fringe, Game of Thrones), and Executive Producer Warren Littlefield (Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale).
This news syncs up nicely with the recent announcement that the character is returning to Marvel Comics, where he lived from 1970 till 2000 before moving over to Dark Horse. The infamous Cimmerian has been a comic book staple for 50 years already, and his increased presence back at Marvel should only prove to help out his chances on television. But which Conan will we get?
Don’t expect a remake of the Schwarzenegger classics from the 1980s, but more of a return to the literary roots of the character from Howard’s stories written back in the 1930s, which probably means less horse-punching and more silent sulking. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jason Momoa reprise the role. Though his 2011, Marcus Nispel-directed feature was less than stellar, that wasn’t the fault of the actor, who has since proven more than capable of carrying a series – Frontier, The Red Road – and now has enough star power to merit consideration for a second chance.
Ryan Condal is said to be a huge fan of the original source material, claiming to have “a personal obsession with the material” and a desire to return him back to his roots. It will be interesting to see what other Conan-related characters make their way into the series, as rights are probably pretty spread out. The most famous of the supporting cast would be Red Sonja, who got her own movie in 1985 and was played by Brigitte Nielsen, co-starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, though as High Lord Kalidor instead of Conan. The Red Sonja character was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Barry Windsor Smith for Marvel Comics in 1973, based off an amalgam of Robert E. Howard characters including a swashbuckler named Red Sonya of Rogatino and Dark Agnes de Chastillon.
Other characters the could show up include Conan’s first true love, the Pirate Queen Bêlit, who Howard first created in 1934. Perhaps the evil wizard Thoth-Amon could appear, as he was one of Conan’s earliest adversaries. Or maybe they will draw on the most famous of Conan villains, who appeared in Arnold’s Conan the Barbarian played by James Earl Jones, Thulsa Doom. Doom actually predates Conan in Robert E. Howard’s work, first appearing in 1928, four years before the Cimmerian showed up, to battle another of Howard’s heroes, Kull of Atlantis. You might remember Kull from his 1997 film, Kull the Conqueror, where he was played by Kevin Sorbo.
Whoever they pull from the other literary works, we’ll be happy just to see the series come to life after years of waiting for that third Arnold movie…
There is no current date set for the Amazon series, but we’d expect late-2019 at the earliest.
Images: Marvel Comics, Dynamite Entertainment,
Dark Horse Publishing, Lionsgate, Frank Frazetta