Conan Official Site Update, Momoa news, Sequel Update, and more!

A couple of nice updates for your perusal: a few not-exactly-hot-off-the-presses pieces followed by one that is. The official Conan site has been updated with new information and features, Jason Momoa’s up for an interesting award, the upcoming film gets a prestigious nod, and Momoa speaks on the upcoming film – and its possible sequel.

First, a couple of updates on came online. The photos page has the two early stills from months back, though it will undoubtedly be expanded over the next few months. The story page has some more bits and pieces on the film’s plot:

“I live, I love, I slay… I am content.”
– Conan the Barbarian

The most legendary Barbarian of all time is back this Summer. Having thrived and evolved for eight consecutive decades in the public imagination- in prose and graphics, on the big screen and small, in games and properties of all kinds- Conan’s exploits in the Hyborian Age now come alive like never before in a colossal 3D action-adventure film.

A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.

Deftly adapted from the original works of Robert E. Howard and faithful to the mythology and psychology of his iconic character, CONAN THE BARBARIAN stars Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Ron Perlman and Rose McGowan, and is directed by Marcus Nispel.

Hmm. It does seem that, although the bones of story don’t sound drastically different, the way it’s being told is: the Quest for Vengeance is downplayed into a “personal vendetta,” while the Save the World aspect is given a veneer of Reluctant Hero. This squares with what Sean Hood said in his Rama interview. The “hulking rivals” is undoubtedly a reference to Ukafa and the Jailer, with “horrific monsters” likely meaning those ghoulish creatures from the teaser and set photos – though they’re unlikely to be the only monsters in the film.

On the Momoa front, we learn that he is to win Cinemacon’s Rising Star of the Year 2011. It seems somewhat presumptuous to give an award to an actor whose starring debut hasn’t even been released – memories of Pia Zadore’s Golden Globe win loom dark – but then, I don’t make these awards. Congratulations, Jason!

While we still haven’t been given a really good idea of Jason Momoa’s Conan in action, a possible hint can be found in a new character portrait for his character in A Game of Thrones:

Pretty barbaric, if I do say so.

The Licencing Blog reports that Conan the Barbarian is one of eleven films that will “boost 2011”:

Paradox Entertainment Inc. and its subsidiary Conan Properties International LLC announced that their upcoming film Conan the Barbarian was named one of USA Today’s 11 Films to Lift 2011.

Starring Jason Momoa, Stephen Lang, Ron Perlman, Rachel Nichols and Rose McGowan, the film will be released August 19 in both 2-D and 3-D via Lionsgate.

In the realm of licensing, several companies have signed on to create product based on the film, as well as classic Conan merchandise.

Licensees include Albion Film Swords (custom weaponry and armor; worldwide), Dark Horse Comics (comics and graphic novels print and digital; worldwide); Double Barrel (motion comics co-production; worldwide) Museum Replicas/Atlanta Cutlery (weaponry and armor; worldwide), Penguin (novelization of the screenplay; worldwide), Rittenhouse (collectible trading cards; North America, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom), Rizzoli (2011 wall calendar; worldwide) and Rubie’s Costume (costumes, masks and costume accessories; worldwide)

Other films with major licensing efforts that made the list include Rango, Rio, Scream 4, Cars 2, Cowboys and Aliens and The Smurfs.

They’re really going for broke on the merchandising: action figures and bobbleheads can’t be far behind.

Finally, some more recent news: Den of Geek held an interview with Jason Momoa, where they discussed not only A Game of Thrones, but naturally Conan the Barbarian. The full interview hasn’t been released as of yet, but Brian Lambie provides a sneak preview:

The new adaptation of Robert E Howard’s Conan The Barbarian may not be out until August, but star Jason Momoa’s fully prepared for a sequel…

As most of you will know by now, Jason Momoa will soon be taking over from Arnold Schwarzenegger as Robert E Howard’s Conan The Barbarian. The first Conan movie since Conan The Destroyer in 1985, director Marcus Nispel reboots the franchise with a great supporting cast, including Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan and Ron Perlman.

In the UK to promote the epic new fantasy drama series, Game Of Thrones (you can read our spoiler-free review of the first episode here), Jason Momoa also spoke of his Conan role in a lively interview, which we’ll bring you in full next week.

Candid, garrulous and extremely funny, Momoa spoke enthusiastically of how he won the part, and how making the film left its scars, as well as an enduring hatred of horses. When asked if there would definitely be at least one sequel, meanwhile, his response was an eager, “Oh, yeah.”

“There are sequels to everything,” Momoa told us. “There’s a Fast & Furious seven, isn’t there? There’s like four Pirates Of The Caribbean.”

A follow-up to this August’s Conan movie will be largely dependent on box office receipts, of course, but Momoa seems confident that fans of the famous Cimmerian will be happy with this latest big-screen incarnation.

“I got to see a rough cut, and people are going to be stoked,” Momoa said. “We’re not remaking anything Arnold did. It’s a totally new story. The same legendary character. We’re taking these tons and tons of great Robert E Howard stories from the 30s, and combining a couple and bringing it to audiences in a way that’s new and fresh.”

We’ll be bringing you the full Jason Momoa interview, where he talks about his roles in Stargate: Atlantis, Game Of Thrones and Conan The Barbarian, on Monday.

Set your calenders for Monday, folks!


You knew this was coming. I have to comment on the official site update – specifically, the part that says “deftly adapted from the original works of Robert E. Howard.” With the best will in the world, no. Regardless of what one thinks of the merits of an origin story, especially this origin story, the film is practically by definition not an adaptation. I can believe that the filmmakers believe that the film is faithful to the mythology and psychology of Howard’s character, but when a film is an entirely new story, it really can’t be called an adaptation.

This isn’t another blustering, spluttering rant against the film for not adapting any one Howard story, or in failing to do so, making a story that actually includes elements Howard left: it’s simply noting that you can’t say anything’s “deftly adapted” when there’s no adapting going on. Even the makers of the recent I, Robot didn’t call it an adaptation of Asimov’s stories.

That said, Momoa’s quotations in the Den of Geek interview don’t help matters. Is it an “entirely new story,” or is it “combining a couple?” If they aren’t remaking anything Arnold did, then why the “parent murdered as a child in an attack on his home village by evil warlord, goes on a quest for vengeance as an adult” plot which is endemic to the 1982 film? Perhaps the quotes are being taken out of context, and combined with the motion poster, the official website makes one thing clear: their web team is kicking the arse of whatever trailer house made the teaser.