Conan is making a comeback, this time on a streaming service. Netflix is currently developing a Conan the Barbarian TV show, which will center on the classic character created by Robert E. Howard in live-action. While details remain somewhat scarce at the moment, this series could be just the beginning of a new franchise at Netflix.
According to a new report, Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler's Pathfinder Media has made a deal with Netflix to produce the Conan the Barbarian TV series. It is also said to be the first in a deal with Conan Properties International. Under the deal, Netflix has the exclusive rights to obtain the rights to the entire Conan library. This would mean that the company could develop further movies and TV shows, both of the animated and live-action variety, should they so choose.
For now, they have this first project to focus on. No writer or director is attached to the series yet but a search is underway. There is also no word on casting at this time, though it sounds like the project is in the early stages of development. As such, plot details are not available yet either. Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler are set to serve as executive producers on the project.
Conan has been brought to the screen several times in the past. Most notably, Arnold Schwarzenegger portrayed the character in 1982's Conan the Barbarian, which helped turn him into a bonafide action movie star. A sequel, Conan the Destroyer, was released in 1984. Jason Momoa also starred in a reboot of the franchise that was released in 2011. On the animated front, Conan the Adventurer and Conan and the Young Warriors both hit the airwaves in the early 90s. There was also a short-lived live-action series titled Conan the Adventurer that was released in 1997.
Robert E. Howard created Conan the Barbarian, aka Conan the Cimmerian, in 1932. The character first appeared in a series of short stories in the pages of Weird Tales magazine. These are largely credited with ushering in the "sword and sorcery" genre. Aside from the previously discussed adaptation, the character has also been the subject of more than a thousand comic books, a hundred novels, and video games, as well as toys and other collectibles. For Netflix, this represents a globally recognizable brand that could be a rich source for content. Like every major streaming service right now, marquee, exclusive content is the name of the game.
One thing to ponder is what might happen if Netflix does exercise the option to gain exclusive global rights to the franchise. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been trying to get his King Conan movie made for years now. Should Netflix acquire the rights, could they bring Schwarzenegger back and finally get the movie on track? That is pure speculation but not out of the realm of possibility. And it certainly seems like the sort of movie they would invest in. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Deadline.