Sorry, folks. The long-discussed reboot The Legend of Conan isn't going to happen. The movie was supposed to be a direct sequel to 1982's Conan the Barbarian, which would have seen Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise one of his most iconic roles for a third time. But Universal Pictures has decided to kill the franchise before it could even get started.
Schwarzenegger has been teasing Legend of Conan for years, and fans were quite excited about seeing his return. Arnold first took on the role in the John Milius directed 1982 adaptation of Robert E. Howard's most famous creation. And in 1984, he returns in the less-violent, somewhat disappointing Conan the Destroyer. Legend of Conan was supposed to return Arnold and the Conan character back to its bloody, R-rated roots. The first attempts at a true third sequel never materialized before Arnold became the Governor of California. This resulted in a one-off reboot from Lionsgate, which starred Aquaman Jason Momoa as a slimmed down version of the Barbarian.
Legend of Conan isn't happening due to a lack of trying. Many writers have attempted to tackle the screenplay over the years, including Will Beall, who is credited with co-writing Momoa's Aquaman movie. Longtime Fast and Furious franchise writer Chris Morgan also swung for the fences in penning a new adventure for Arnie and his barbaric after ego. Alas, this never came to fruition.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chris Morgan delivered a death blow to King Conan when asked about the project. He certainly didn't have any good news to share. Asked if there was an update he could give, he offered this.
"Not so much. That's kind of a longer story. At the end of the day, the studio decided that they weren't gonna make that. I gotta say, it's honestly a heartbreak. I love that first movie so much, so much, it's one of my favorite movies. We had Will Beall do a draft on [the Legend of Conan script]. He killed it. Our take was Conan, 30 years later, a story like the Clint Eastwood Unforgiven. It was so awesome. Ultimately, the budget was big, the studio was not really sure of the title, and the relevance in the marketplace. They ended up letting it go. I think they're gonna look to do a TV show or something with it. But just to be associated with it, pitch it to Arnold, have him get so excited, there was a moment of magic for me, personally [laughs]. You never know, down the road we may revisit!"
A Conan TV show could materialize, but unless it is a big pay television or Netflix project, we doubt it would star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though stranger things have happened, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility, as Arnold's movie career has never really gotten back on track the way many had hoped after he left office.
At one point, the Conan Cinematic Universe was discussed. It would have revolved around other characters in the Howard archives. Legend of Conan would have been a great way to bring the iconic character to a satisfying end on the big screen. Perhaps there is still hope that somehow, the Unforgiven-esque story that is planned can happen sometime in the future, but it better happen quick, before Arnie decided to retire from acting forever.