Dirk Blackman, one of the writers for the, as we reported, second Conan movie posted a practise Conan screenplay on his private blog. As he states he created the script to see if he can get into the right mood to write a Conan screenplay. The screenplay is an adaptation of the Frost Giant’s Daughter, one of Robert E. Howard’s original Conan stories, that was adapted in many Comics and pastiches. It’s the story of Conan meeting the cruel daughter of Ymir, the Frost god of the Vanir and Aesir living far up to the north, above the lands of Cimmeria. The screenplay itself would transform into a 5-6 minute short-film as Mr. Blackman states and he stresses the fact it’s not much of a hint of how he wrote the screenplay he was hired for, or the quality present in the finished script for the second Conan film.
I think the scenes and pacing he extracted from the original story are well chosen, though i think he generally took to few pieces of dialogue portraiting Conan again as the dumb brute as he was pictured in the existing Conan movies. Additionally I think the screenplay misses the fact, that Conan was lured by magic, but was carefully aware of it, even mocking her that if she would lead him into a trap her kinsmen would fall flat on their faces with their heads chopped off. The pure confidence and even arrogance of the young Conan and the raw and brutal power that even mock the gods is missing in the screenplay.
Since he states that this is only a practise and does not hint at how his Conan screenplay will be written, I hope he did not take as many liberties in his movie script, as that would mean it would lack all that makes Conan special and different from “ye average sword wielding bad ass”.
UPDATE: Dirk Blackman was so kind to write a very long and explanatory answer to the many comments he got on his blog and in the REH Forum. I think it’s great of him (and not unexpected, he always was honest and open to the fans) to take the time and explain his thought process and the process of creating a screenplay.