Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to his action star roots with the upcoming films The Last Stand, The Tomb, and Ten, but the 65-year-old former Governor hasn’t been shy about accepting his old age. In each of his new roles, Schwarzenegger is playing characters that are bruised and battered and, generally speaking, wiser for it.
Nowhere will this new identity be clearer than in Schwarzenegger’s return to one of his most famous characters, Conan the Barbarian, in the film Legend of Conan. Recently, producer Chris Morgan talked about the movie and how the sequel will depict a Conan that is far removed from his warrior days.
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Morgan explained that in the new film, Conan is deep into his “magisterial rule over his kingdom.” As King, he’s lost some of the warrior instincts of his past, but that changes when he’s “drawn into something” that requires him to “access the barbarian he was in his youth.”
Morgan said that Legend of Conan would show multiple facets of the character:
“I love that Conan has been many things in his life, notably a pirate, a major tactician and a commander of men. In this movie, we’re going to tap into some of those things – things you haven’t seen on screen yet.”
Morgan also explained that when Conan does set out to pick up his sword again, it won’t be without challenges:
“I want the warrior whose joints have started to fuse together, who has to crack the cartilage so he can pick up a sword again. I want the guy who’s not necessarily lost a step, but there’s some rust he has to shake off. I want to embrace that. It makes it a greater hero story. Conan needs to be faced with challenges. The greatest challenge to him isn’t the armies that are set before him. It’s, on some level, self-doubt, a little bit of slowing down and forcing yourself to be heroic beyond what people expect of you. What I don’t want is for him to step back in and look the same. That would defeat the purpose of our story.”
There are likely a lot of people out there who don’t want to see the words “self-doubt” and “Conan the Barbarian” anywhere near each other, but this sounds like the only reasonable approach for Schwarzenegger to return to the character. Nobody is arguing that a 65-year-old Conan can’t kick butt, but he shouldn’t be able to rumble the same way he did 40 years ago.
It will be interesting to see whether Arnold’s acting chops have fallen off since his time as the Governor of California. It’s been many years since the actor has had a meaty role to sink his teeth into (his minor roles in The Expendables were primarily fan service, so they don’t count). I’m hopeful that all of his upcoming roles, especially Conan, will give him a chance to remind audiences why he was once the undisputed king of the box office.
Legend of Conan is expected to hit theaters in 2014.
Source: LA Times