In surprising news, Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the franchise that kick-started his acting career, taking the lead in The Legend of Conan for Universal Pictures.

Fredrik Malmberg and Christopher Morgan will produce for Universal, who hold worldwide rights to the film. Christopher Morgan may write the screenplay as well. This action adventure based on the works of Robert E. Howard will serve as Universal's tentpole picture for the summer of 2014. Christopher Morgan is currently working on the seventh Fast & Furious script for the studio now, and if he is not finished in time to write this himself, he will stay attached as a very active producer.

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This will be Arnold Schwarzenegger's third time playing the legendary barbarian. Though there was an attempt to reboot the franchise in the summer of 2011 with Jason Momoa playing Conan the Barbarian, producer Fredrik Malmberg claims this is the movie they really wanted to make. Only, they couldn't do it while Arnold Schwarzenegger was still in the governor's office.

"The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make. It's that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he'll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.

After the original seminal movie, all that came after looked silly to me. Robert E. Howard's mythology and some great philosophy from Nietzsche to Atilla the Hun was layered in the original film. People say, he didn't speak for the first 20 minutes of the film, but that was calculated in depicting this man who takes control of life with his own hand. This movie picks up Conan where Arnold is now in his life, and we will be able to use the fact that he has aged in this story. I love the property of Conan so much that I wouldn't touch it unless we came up with something worthy. We think this is a worthy successor to the original film. Think of this as Conan's Unforgiven."

There are no plans for Jason Momoa to return to the character, with The Legend of Conan completely skipping over that failed installment of the franchise. It will also skip over the 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer, which actually starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. This new incarnation will serve as a direct link to the original film.

Though an R rating is not set in stone for this follow-up, the producers plan to stay true to the material.

"I loved the choices they made in that film. You start with the wholesale slaughter and death of Conan's village at the hand of the warlord played by James Earl Jones, and you see young Conan chained to a wheel as he becomes stronger. Then he's a pit fighter, and later basically a stud bull before he meets the first kind person of his life, who lets him go. All of that horrific stuff happened for a reason, and then an act of kindness sends him on his journey. Will that level of violence be there? Absolutely, but only if it serves a character who lives by that barbarian law of the wild, who is capable of extreme violence and rage, but who has created his own code and operates from within it. By the end of that film, Conan became a certain character, and this film picks him up there, as he faces different challenges that include dealing with age."

This is what Arnold Schwarzenegger had to say.

"I always loved the Conan character and I'm honored to be asked to step into the role once again. I can't wait to work with Universal and the great team of Fredrik Malmberg and Christopher Morgan to develop the next step of this truly epic story."