The Fantastic Four reboot and the belated sequel The Legend of Conan are both returns to franchises that were not so well received the last time out. In the case of FF, every iteration – from the 1994 Roger Corman film (beloved for how laugh-out-loud terrible it is) to Tim Story’s version (2005) and its sequel (2007) – has received scathing reviews. In the case of Conan, only the original Conan the Barbarian (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) is considered a cult classic; the sequel and the 2011 reboot, not so much.
We haven’t heard much in the way of concrete information about either film in the past few months, though Mark Millar did confirm that an X-Men/Fantastic Four was in the works, and there was a rumor that Legend would kickstart a trilogy of new Conan films starring Schwarzenegger. Now we have word that both films have new screenwriters.
First, in Fantastic Four news – THR is reporting that X-Men: Days of Future Past writer Simon Kinberg has been hired to do a substantial rewrite of the forthcoming reboot of Marvel’s first super family. He’s the fifth screenwriter to take a crack at the script after Jeremy Slater, Michael Green, Seth Grahame-Smith, and T.S. Nowlin all failed to produce something satisfactory for the studio.
In addition to Days of Future Past, Kinberg has previously worked with Fox on X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class. The studio must be fairly satisfied with his DoFP work to bring him on board the FF reboot as well. Perhaps he’s become accustomed to the tone and general vibe that this new shared universe is supposed to have.
As previously stated, we don’t know a whole lot about the film in an official capacity except that Josh Trank (Chronicle) is directing it. Rumors have indicated that Allison Williams (Girls) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) are/were in talks to play Sue and Johnny Storm, respectively – but again, nothing there has been confirmed at this point.
The last official news was that production on the reboot would be moving from Canada to Louisiana, and that shooting would begin in September. Considering Simon Kinberg’s rewrite of the script will (apparently) be “substantial,” is it possible that the start-date could be moved back?
We’ll let you know when we do.
In Legend of Conan news – Deadline is reporting that Andrea Berloff has just signed on to write the sequel, which will see Arnold Schwarzenegger as an aged barbarian king who has take take up the sword again after years of retirement.
Berloff isn’t particularly prolific in the screenwriting department. Her only feature writing credit to reach the big screen was Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, the true-life story of two Port Authority officers who were trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Does her talent naturally lend itself to the ridiculously over-the-top action, violence, and crudeness that made the original Conan the Barbarian so great? We’ll have to wait and see.
There’s certainly been a few signs that Legend has been heading in the right direction, particularly producer Fredrik Malmberg’s insistence that the movie would not be some passing of the torch vehicle where a sidekick gets to see if he/she has what it takes to take over for the iconic hero in a future installment (a la Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, A Good Day to Die Hard, etc.).
Here’s what Malmberg had to say about that:
“The idea for this particular film is that he will be the lead, a lot of people ask if we’re going to introduce a son of Conan and passing the torch? The idea is to not. No, this is Conan’s movie. This is Arnold’s movie!”
Then again, it could be entertaining/hilarious to see a whiny, weak, and spoiled son attempt to fill Conan’s warrior role and fail miserably – in spectacular, blood-soaked fashion – prompting Conan to seek revenge.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to the Fantastic Four reboot and the long-awaited Conan sequel? Drop us a line in the comments.
The Fantastic Four reboot hits theaters March 6th, 2015. Last we heard, The Legend of Conan was aiming for a 2014 release date, but that seems unlikely at this point; expect that film to be pushed to the overcrowded 2015, as well.
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.