Conan Update: Ratner Out, McTeigue In?

This may make some fans happy.

Empire magazine had the opportunity to speak with Joe Gatta, producer of the upcoming Conan and Red Sonja movies and their conversation revealed some interesting information regarding Conan and the director’s position.

It was back in October of last year when the rumor surfaced of Ratner being selected to helm the remake and for a while it seemed like a sure-thing. This February, Ratner discussed the movie and casting and all throughout the process the feedback from the readers was… well, let’s just say it wasn’t very positive.

For those who didn’t like the idea of Ratner making Conan, Empire's conversation with Gatta revealed that Ratner will not be directing the movie:

"We’re currently in the process of hiring a director… For the past six months we were discussing the movie with Brett Ratner, and for more timing issues than anything else we had to part ways with Brett. We all wanted him to do it, believe me; just the timing didn’t work. But you never know what can happen."

That doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility however. If Ratner’s schedule clears up in the future and the movie is delayed even more, he could still direct. For now, you can feel relieved as it’s unlikely he will.

So, if Ratner’s out, who are they considering instead?

According to CHUD, James McTeigue is their number one choice. Interestingly, McTeigue has worked alongside the Wachowski brothers on all three of the Matrix films and Speed Racer as an assistant director and in return, they’ve helped him with V for Vendetta and this year’s Ninja Assassin of which he directed himself.

Why is that interesting? Well, the Wachowski brothers were previously rumored to direct the Conan reboot, so if McTeigue gets the gig, we can almost expect them to have a part in it as well.

For those out there who think they can play Conan, you better start working out. In the interview, producer Gatta also said that once they lockdown the director, they will hold an open casting call for the lead part. I’m throwing my support out there to James Preston Rogers, the 6’6” monster of a man who is also rumored to play Thor.

"We have a potential start-date on Conan of August 24. And we’ll be shooting in Bulgaria. I would say though the emphasis is on Conan [rather than Red Sonja]. It’s our crown jewel here at the company and that will be the leader. Red Sonja probably won’t happen until next year, as far as making it goes. So we want to launch Conan and reinvent the franchise."

If the movie runs on schedule and films this summer, we can expect a release later next year.

What do you think of the director swap?

Sources: Empire, CHUD

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