According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writing team's action-adventure screenplay Amazon, an epic about female warriors to which Scarlett Johansson has been attached, is sailing out of turnaround toward Lionsgate as well, with Neal Moritz and his Original Film banner coming on to produce once the deal is completed.
Director searches are under way for both projects.
Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara) wrote earlier drafts of the film, a potential resurrection of the classic warrior created by Robert E. Howard in dozens of pulp stories published in the 1930s. In 1982, Oliver Stone and John Milius wrote a bloody adaptation, which Milius also directed, that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Much like with Batman Begins, the studio hopes to redraw the Conan feature universe to produce a new, post-millennial franchise. So rather than remake the Schwarzenegger bloodfest, the writers have gone back to Howard's original stories to create a $100 million R-rated origin film, the largest production to date for Lionsgate and Millennium.
"Fans expect (these types of movies) to be more true to the source material," Malmberg said. "There's no reason there couldn't be a Conan movie every two years. He's almost like Batman: He's a dark hero. He's a hard hero. He has to be badass, but we also have to like him."
The film is being fast-tracked, but no production date has been set.