Arnold Schwarzenegger is already reprising one of his classic roles in this summer's Terminator Genisys, but the action icon is also getting ready to come back as Conan in The Legend of Conan. The story is set decades after the original 1982 classic Conan The Barbarian, following the aging title character. As it turns out, that upcoming sequel could spawn an entire cinematic universe, with producer Fredrik Malmberg acquiring his old company Paradox Entertainment, giving him the rights to the entire library of characters and stories created by author Robert E. Howard. Fredrik Malmberg teased the possibility of creating a cinematic universe by using Robert E. Howard's characters. Here's what he had to say below, referencing Marvel's approach to their superhero characters.
"These days, it comes down to brands and characters and we are looking at long-term possibilities. We look at how Marvel played out with its rich based of characters, and this too is a universe that lends itself to exploitation in TV and film. There aren't many libraries like this."
The Robert E. Howard library, which is now controlled by Fredrik Malmberg's new company Cabinet Entertainment, contains over 800 stories and hundreds of characters created by the author, including Red Sonja, Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn, which is being developed at Universal, El Borak, and countless others. It isn't known quite yet if Fredrik Malmberg's plan is to connect all of these characters into Conan's universe known as the Hyborian Age, or how this potential cinematic universe will work. Fredrik Malmberg did confirm that The Legend of Conan will be set 30 years after the original Conan The Barbarian.
"It's 30 years after the original film, and he's facing his mortality and how a legend deals with the fact he's older, and how does he want to go out."
No director is attached to The Legend of Conan quite yet, but Will Beall (Gangster Squad) is currently rewriting the original script by Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton). Chris Morgan (Furious 7), who is producing alongside Fredrik Malmberg, also revealed that The Legend of Conan will honor the original film.
"We're very lucky that the architects of this new film - the writer, the producers, the studio and most of all, Arnold - who is Conan - are all first-generation fans who either worked on the film or who came along for the ride, cheering from their theater seats opening night. We plan nothing more than to immerse ourselves in the world Milius envisioned from Robert E. Howard's unforgettable stories and Frank Frazetta's stunning artwork... [W]e are honoring the locales, the religions and the traditions of the '82 film."
"Without naming names...it's at least three. And you're gonna love them!"
Fredrik Malmberg also revealed that they hope to get production started by this fall, and that the script was recently turned in to Universal Studios. Hopefully this means the studio will attach a director soon so the production can start on time. Would you like to see The Legend of Conan spawn a cinematic universe?