Stephen Lang Offered Villain Role in ‘Conan’ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 9:41 am,

avatar stephen lang as colonel quaritch Stephen Lang Offered Villain Role in Conan [Updated]

Update: Stephen Lang has confirmed that he will play the villain role of Khalar Singh in the new Conan movie. See bottom of the post for details.

Things are really gearing up for the upcoming remake/reboot of Conan, with Stargate: AtlantisJason Mamoa already cast as the titular hero and Mickey Rourke set to play his dad. We also reported last week that MMA fighter, Bob Sapp, has been cast as Ukafa, who is one of the film’s villains.

But is one villain really enough? The multiple villain idea often dooms superhero movies to terrible fates (ala Batman & Robin) but for a movie like Conan it’s entirely understandable that the hero would be up against more than one villain. Continuing his breaking news on Conan‘s casting, Latino Review‘s El Mayimbe has a “trusted source” who says that Avatar star Stephen Lang has been offered the part of Khalar Singh, the main villain of the film.

According to the casting call that leaked last October, Khalar Singh is described as follows [SPOILER ALERT!!!]:

He’s in his 40s to 50s, Asian or Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Mongol, Turkish, or Persian, open to all ethnicities; commanding in size and manner, a warlord and formidable warrior, brilliant, cruel, weathered and tanned by the many campaigns he has waged and won. He is driven in his quest to find the Queen of Acheron and has been building an empire to do so.

His goal is to find the Queen whose blood will bring life to the demonic minions of Acheron while making himself king of this hellish power. With this power, Khalar will protect his legacy against the onslaught of master sorcerer, Thoth-Amon so that his weak son, Fariq may rule after his death. While riding into a Cimmerian village to recruit his old comrade, Corin, his large collection of mercenaries slaughters them to the last soul when Corin refuses to join them. The village’s only survivor was young Conan. When Khalar’s search has finally narrowed to the likely discovery of the queen at a monastery of female monks, he also learns Conan is older and hungry for revenge…

It seems strange to me that they’d be going for a white American like Lang when the character is supposed to Asian, Middle Eastern or Turkish (amongst others). Still, words like “commanding in size and manner” and “brilliant, cruel, and weathered” sounds like traits that Lang can really embody. He was certainly a great bad guy in Avatar and I imagine it’s that role which has gotten the Conan folks to take notice. His small role in Public Enemies also showed that Lang isn’t just an over-the-top action stereotype.

El Mayimbe says that nothing is final right now, so take this news as a strong maybe instead of a certainty, at least until things are finalized. Millenium Films is currently negotiating with Lang’s reps so the deal can still fall apart (read: if Lang dislikes anything he sees in the project).

Update: On the red carpet a couple of days ago at the Oscars, MTV talked to Avatar star Stephen Lang and the actor confirmed the recent rumors that he will be playing the main villain of Khalar Singh in the new Conan movie. Here’s what he told MTV:

“I’ve accepted the role of Khalar Singh… I have no idea how I’m going to do it… First I’m going to find out how I’m going to sound. I’m going to get back on a Mongolian pony and ride like the wind. I’m going to flash my scimitar. I’m going to cut the nuts off Conan and his father.”

Fantastic news in my eyes.

Thoughts on Stephen Lang playing the main villain in Conan: Good idea? Bad idea? Let us know!

Conan is being directed by Marcus Nispel and will likely hit theaters in the summer of 2011.

Source: Latino Review

Update Source: MTV

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  1. Lang is brilliant. You could cast him as “Black Dynamite” and it would still be a good decision.

  2. Hate to sound like a big loser fanboy but Momoa was on Stargate Atlantis for 4 seasons, not SG1.

  3. You're correct. Sorry about that. Error fixed.

  4. When I heard that Jason Mamoa was cast as Conan I was a bit puzzled by the choice but still willing to give this movie a chance.
    When I heard they'd cast Bob Sapp , I became very worried that this movie would suck.

    IF Lang ends up in it , my faith in this project will be restored.

    Lang was very good in Public Enemies and he was BRILLIANT in Avatar.
    they want a brilliant commanding cruel weathered warlord??
    Lang is your guy.

    I loved the original Conan movie , its still a classic.
    I would , however , love love LOVE to see a version that is much more faithful to the source material.
    I want to read the first Conan book ( by Robert E. Howard ) if I can ever find a copy , so far all I've read is the comics.

    So tell me , who among you have read the Howard books ?
    How different are they from what I read in all those Conan comics ??

  5. The situation with Ukafa and Singh is really not the same as with comic films having two villains: Ukafa is Singh's primary henchman. So really, Singh is *the* villain, and Ukafa's his muscle, like Thulsa Doom and Rexor in Conan the Barbarian.

    Also like Rexor, Khalar Singh is completely made up. He isn't from any story, book or comic. So they can technically cast whoever they like for the role regardless of what the casting sheet says, seeing as it's their character. Sure, it makes a mockery of REH's love of history and his work by casting a blond blue-eyed white dude as a Sikh, but at least they aren't messing with an established character. Lang would be great in the role, but frankly, I don't want him to be anywhere near this mess.

    rastaZen, if you want to read the original Robert E. Howard Conan stories, unedited, unexpurgated, and as Howard intended them, then all you need is:

    The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
    The Bloody Crown of Conan
    The Conquering Sword of Conan

    All available from Del Rey, and still in print. They should be easy to find on Amazon or any decent book store.

  6. I looked on amazon.com and also found The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Howard. It costs about $24 and I was thinking about buying it.

  7. One of the best things about Lang is how Chameleon-like he can be.

    Hell compare roles in two movies that came out right about the same time – his scumbag reporter Freddie Lounds in MANHUNTER and Joe the Misccosukee Indian in BAND OF THE HAND.

    What I love about the guy is his versatility.
    Not sure about the lead in Conan (Mamoa – hope he surprises me) but Lang is a step in the right direction – as long as his villain is not written as an over the top megalomaniac, I think Lang will hit a homerun.

  8. Yeah it wouldn't

  9. Stephen Lang is my pick for Magneto in any serious-adult version of the X-Men.

  10. Definitely enojoyed him in Avatar. By the way, did anyone notice the resemblence Avatar has with Dances With Wolves?

  11. Lang is an excellent and often under-rated actor.

    He was in a little film called Gods and Generals and played the main role of Gen. Stonewall Jackson – and did so excellently. Also did a great job in a much smaller role much longer ago…as Gen. Pickett in Gettysburg.

    I'm very glad to see that he's been getting more roles and attention lately and I hope it will keep coming!

  12. Not sure if this is a wise choice for lang !
    He could end up being typecasted for such roles only,would be sad as he can do more then just play bad guys !

    But what is bad ?

    He has his believes and in Avatar I wouldn't call him a bad guy,it's a point of view!

  13. We never know, what Conan really liked-like? The original Conan the Barbarian had dark brown hair with dark complexion, in 1982 movie Conan had red hair just like Frederick the Barbarossa, in 2011, he look more Latino or Asian. Just like Wizard of Oz in 1978, the look changes by movies!

  14. We never know, what Conan really liked-like? The original Conan the Barbarian had dark brown hair with dark complexion, in 1982 movie Conan had red hair just like Frederick the Barbarossa, in 2011, he look more Latino or Asian. Just like Wizard of Oz in 1978, the look changes by movies!

  15. @koichi
    We know what Conan looked like because Howard repeatedly made it very clear. Black hair in a basic square cut style, blue eyes, bull neck, tree trunk arms, tall, and bronzed skin due to exposure to sun, tho his ppl were naturally very pale due to Cimmeria being a dark place. Basically built of steel, tho not so bulky as Arnold, as Conan was FAST.