The idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the world of Conan has long been a pipe dream for fans of the fantasy films after Conan The Destroyer ended with a tease for a planned third film, Conan The Conquerer, which fell into development hell and ultimately ended up as Kull The Conqueror.
In the years since Conan The Barbarian, director John Milius had also expressed interest in returning with Schwarzenegger for a direct sequel, which he also wrote a script for, titled King Conan. This also subsequently fell into oblivion and it didn't help when Conan returned to the big screen in 2011 with Jason Mamoa taking over the role of the titular hero.
Marcus Nispel's Conan tanked at the box office and plans for a new franchise were swiftly put to rest much to the disappointment of fans of the character. There may however have been a silver lining in that films failure.
Since ending his term as Governor of California last year, Schwarzenegger has repeatedly mentioned his interest in returning to the role and it's looking to become a reality with Universal Pictures making a deal for a direct sequel to 'Conan The Barbarian' (ignoring Destroyer and the reboot completely) titled 'The Legend Of Conan'.
Universal want the film to be ready for a summer 2014 release with producer Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan backing the project, as well as Morgan (who is a huge fan of the film) looking to write the script.
“After the original seminal movie, all that came after looked silly to me,” Morgan said. “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.”
Said Schwarzenegger: “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 Chris Morgan to develop the next step of this truly epic story.”