A little birdy has told me there’s a rumour going around that the Conan film has hired Morgan Freeman to do the narration for the opening scene of Conan the Barbarian, which will start in a way instantly familiar to Howard and 1982 film fans:
“Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis…”
If this is indeed the opening narration, then it seems like a conflation of the original opening lines of “The Phoenix on the Sword” and the altered version of those lines in the 1982 film:
Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars.
– The Nemedian Chronicles, “The Phoenix on the Sword”
Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of.
– The Wizard, Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Sounds like it could be a mixture of the two: a bit closer to the original words, but streamlined in the same fashion as the 1982 film.
Morgan Freeman seems a somewhat unusual choice: his southeastern US drawl seems oddly appropriate from a certain point of view. However, Freeman’s voice is just so instantly recognizable that it might be a detriment as much as a boon, and remind people more of Martians, prisons and penguins than an Age undreamed of. Plus I’m sure people will miss Mako’s distinctive narration, his strong foreign accent adding to the exoticism and mystery which might be lost when Freeman’s composed and authorative American accent is heard over the speakers.
Time will tell if this rumour turns out to be true or not: ’till then…