A prequel to Conan the Barbarian (2011) in the works too?

In a report on the upcoming Age of Conan: Hyboria!, which promises to be a Red vs Blue-esque machinima comedy from some of the folks who brought you Robot Chicken, there was an interesting snippet that has as yet gone unnoticed, even though it was announced back in October: Conan the Barbarian (2011) is getting a straight-to-DVD prequel. Yes, a prequel.

In October, (Gudrun) Giddings also helped set up an adaptation of the motion comicbook “Conan: The Savage Tales” that Double Barrel Motion Labs will release on DVD next year as a prequel to the Marcus Nispel-helmed film.

Here’s the original post from Paradox Entertainment’s site:

Paradox Entertainment and Double Barrel Motion Labs are excited to announce they are producing the Conan movie prequel tie-in, Conan: The Savage Tales, as a motion comic to be released on DVD in 2011.

Motion comics combine elements of traditional print comics with the ability for the characters on the comic pages to move, ergo the name motion comics. The iconic world of Conan the Cimmerian will come to life in this unique medium that incorporates storytelling, stunning visuals, music, and design.This is a perfect platform to showcase the dynamic characters of Conan creator and pulp fiction writer Robert E. Howard.

“At Paradox, we are always looking for ways to showcase our portfolio of classic characters,” says Fredrik Malmberg, President and CEO of Paradox Entertainment. “We are thrilled to be working with Double Barrel, who is at the forefront of this emerging format.”

Jeff Krelitz of Double Barrel adds, “I grew up reading the novels of Robert E. Howard, and ever since my brother passed down his dog-eared copy of ‘The Savage Sword of Conan’ comic book to me I have been intrigued by Conan and the vast world in which he inhabits. Continuing in a long line of strong brand partnerships, DBML is proud to partner with Paradox in producing this Conan project.”

Conan: The Savage Tales will create a foundation for CONAN, the upcoming live-action film produced by Millennium Films, starring Jason Momoa as Conan, and featuring Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Rachel Nichols and Ron Perlman. CONAN is directed by Marcus Nispel and will be distributed by Lionsgate in the U.S, slated for a 2011 release.

The feature-length motion comic will be produced by Paradox Entertainment’s Fredrik Malmberg and Gudrun Giddings, and Double Barrel Motion Labs’s Andy Collen, Jeff Krelitz and Diana Williams.

This perplexes me. How are you meant to do a prequel to a film that’s meant to function as an origin story to begin with? Is the film going to be about the boyhood days of Conan running about Cimmeria in a panther-skin loin-clout, or is it set between the time when Conan morphed from Leo Howard into Jason Momoa?

An idea of what Double Barrel Motion Lab’s Conan: The Savage Tales might look could be formed from previous projects, such as Spartacus: Upon the Sands of Vengeance.

Closer yet would be another Conan motion comic, a proof-of-concept adaptation of Conan the Cimmerian #15:

There is a possibility that this isn’t so much a chronological prequel, as it is a thematic prequel. Perhaps this will feature King Conan relating past events, laying the groundwork for Khalar Zym, Tamara and whatnot through recalling other tales. Maybe it’ll be Conan remembering daring adventures with Artus and the One-Eyed Thief (who might be deigned worthy of a name this time), or an origin story for Khalar Zym, or Ukafa. It’s too early to tell.

I can’t really see the point in making a prequel to an origin story, myself. It just seems rather gratuitous. Now, if they had gone the Batman: Gotham Knight route, where several animation directors contribute to an anthology, that would be cool, especially if they all pick a Robert E. Howard story. But you all guessed I’d say something like that.