Arnold Schwarzenegger has explained the reason behind the development issues on The Legend of Conan. The character of Conan the Barbarian has been around since 1932 when Robert E. Howard created him for a story in Weird Tales magazine. In the '80s, Conan received newfound popularity when Schwarzenegger portrayed the character for two films; Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer.
Conan has appeared in a number of TV shows, comics, and games over the years. The character was even included in a remake of Conan the Barbarian starring Jason Momoa in the titular role, although the film received less than favorable reviews. A third film in the Conan series starring Schwarzenegger has long thought to be in development, which would show Conan as an aged king. Schwarzenegger has been updating fans for years about the development of The Legend of Conan, and there were even rumors that the film could start a shared universe revolving around Howard's characters. In 2017 it was revealed that The Legend of Conan wasn't going to be happening, although later in the month it was announced that the film was still alive and that a Conan TV show was also in the works. Now two years later, Schwarzenegger has given fans yet another update.
Schwarzenegger gave an update on The Legend of Conan when he recently talked with TheArnoldFans. Schwarzenegger discussed working with Tim Miller and the production of Terminator 6, but he also gave a detailed explanation as to why The Legend of Conan has run into so many problems during development. The Conan star basically chalked it up to an issue with the rights to the character, but his full statement can be read below:
“When it comes to the movie, the sad stuff about all of this is when there’s an estate like this, The Robert E. Howard estate…when someone buys these rights, those people now own the rights and they have their own vision of what they want to do and the guy that has the rights is some young guy and he’s trying to figure out how to get his way through Hollywood and this is not easy to do. So there are people that say to him, 'why don’t you start with a TV series and then he negotiates for a TV series and that falls apart. And then he goes maybe to Netflix and that falls apart. Then he decides to make a movie maybe…but in the meantime, we have been trying to convince him for years now that the way to go is to come back and hire a really great director and to do another Conan movie and have me play King Conan, when Conan is like 70 years old and he's disgusted by sitting on the throne and being the king and then something happens after that. It’s really not that far from creating a finished script. The only one who really has to pull the trigger there is the people who own the Conan rights to do a movie. Let’s go to Netflix or whoever it is, let’s hire a director who’s very creative and can elevate the project to make it a winning project. I hope it will be done very soon because I think it’s a great idea."
Despite taking a five year break from acting during his time as the Governor of California, Schwarzenegger has continued to act in a handful of projects each year. The actor has starred in several original projects such as The Last Stand and Maggie, but like many action heroes, Schwarzenegger also returned to some of his more iconic roles. Schwarzenegger starred in Terminator: Genisys in 2015 and will be returning to the franchise for the aforementioned Terminator 6. Schwarzenegger will also be returning to the character Julius Benedict for a sequel to his 1988 film Twins, which will appropriately be titled Triplets.
Even though some of Schwarzenegger's popular characters are returning to the big screen, Conan doesn't seem to be one of them. Getting a movie made in Hollywood is by no means an easy feat to accomplish, but many fans would likely pay to see Schwarzenegger return as Conan; given that the character is one of his more popular roles. Since Schwarzenegger made it seem like the Conan TV show might be dead, all fans can do is hope that The Legend of Conan eventually sees the light of day.