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: Atlantis' Jason 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