Stephen Lang on Khalar Zym’s Deadly Weapon

Another snippet from MTV: this time, Stephen Lang talks about his character’s martial prowess, as well as a little background information.

As reported on the article itself, there’s some discussion on Khalar’s look:

“The look we created in this film, I’ve never been prouder than the creation of this role,” he told us of his character, a merciless warlord named Khalar Singh…

A slew of photos of Conan himself, played by Jason Momoa, have already hit the web. But Lang’s character has remained under wraps…

…And the look for Lang’s villainous character is one he can’t wait for the public to check out.

“I wanted him to be like a knife,” Lang explained. “I wanted him, in profile, to almost disappear if possible. I actually have some photos that I am forbidden to show right now. I know there are these photos of Jason out there, this gorgeous stud of a Conan leaping around shirtless. Truth of the matter is, I kick his ass for almost two hours.”

Lang highlights a good point: there has been plenty of photography for Conan, but very little for the supporting cast. What’s the holdup? Principal photography’s been over for months now. We’ve seen more of the supporting cast of Green Lantern, a film which only ended principal photography less than a month ago, than we have for Conan. When even the cast are talking about photos that they’re forbidden to show…

Incidentally, the MTV article uses the name “Khalar Singh,” rather than the recent revision “Khalar Zym,” which Lang himself has used in other video interviews: perhaps this is merely a mistake on the part of the reporter, and that the film hasn’t reverted back to the old name.

In addition, Lang talks about Khalar’s main weapon:

I have a very cool, and difficult to master — it took me many, many years to master — a double-bladed, parallel scimitar which can do all kinds of things, can break apart and can turn into a scythe, and it requires tremendous dexterity and deftness and agility to handle it – none of which I’ve mastered! But in fact, we worked really hard with the fight team from 300, and those guys are just the best.

I have no idea what a “double-bladed, parallel scimitar” could be — and frankly, the description perplexes me quite a bit. Are we talking something like a sword with two blades on either end, like Darth Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber or Illidan Stormrage’s Twin Blades of Azzinoth, or something more akin to the ridiculous triple-bladed sword of The Sword and the Sorcerer? Not only that, but it can somehow be turned into a scythe. Even if we’re talking something with a modicum of historical precedent like the War Scythe, a weapon that basically breaks apart is a weapon that’s extremely unreliable.

Martial weapons of the Hyborian Age were ultimately realistic. They were weapons that wouldn’t be out of place in historical fiction: broadswords, longswords, two-handed swords, shortswords, sabers, scimitars, knives, poniards, dirks, tulwars, axes, hammers, pikes, spears, bows, crossbows, arbalests. Simple but effective warrior’s weapons. The most elaborate weapons were semi-mystical blades like the Yuetshi Knife, which was simply a broad crescent, and the occasional jewel-encrusted heirloom. There were no double-bladed swords, bat’leths, throwing glaives, arm blades, ring blades, swords-on-a-chain, or even triple-bladed axes.

It’s difficult to imagine how this film’s going to make a “double-bladed, parallel scimitar that breaks into a scythe” remotely believable, and I fear it’ll end up being viewed as nothing more than a flashy gimmick.