Many nerds view Sword And Sorcery as the weird, closet-hippie grandpa of the fantasy genre: delivered in an episodic manner, the stories of the genre featured swashbuckling adventures galore, the occasional crossover with the Lovecraft Mythos and an overall tongue-in-cheek tone that poked fun at its heroes and authors even as it made them into staples of the genre. Conan the Cimmerian (created by fantasy mastermind Robert E. Howard) is the poster-child of the genre, still recognizable even among the most cynical of nerds.
Some would argue that the only reason he even came to dominate today’s pop culture was due to his legendary silver screen debut in 1982 with Conan The Barbarian, where he was first incarnated by future California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, followed by the less-than stellar 1984 sequel, Conan the Destroyer, which pretty much killed the franchise in one fell swoop. There However, there is one last bit of really, really good news for all you old-school Sword And Sorcery fans out there…
During two recent Experience With Arnold Schwartzenegger black-tie events that took place in Edinburgh and Birmingham this January, fans had a chance to talk with their favorite muscle-man and of course, pester him about the possibility of a sequel to his iconic 80’s fantasy role as everyone’s favorite Cimmerian in the long-awaited project The Legend of Conan. Arnold Schwarzenegger verified that the film is still in the works and that it has been renamed Conan The Conqueror (incidentally, this was the proposed title that Arnold had pitched to the studio, as a sequel to Conan the Barbarian). The actor went along to say:
“Conan the Conqueror,” says Arnold, “where I’m sitting on the throne for years and years – decades, and then all of the sudden, the time comes when they want to overthrow me. So that story WILL be told and that movie WILL be done.”
“Yes,” confirms Arnold, “as a matter of fact, it (The Legend of Conan) has been written and we are now looking for directors so this is a serious drive (now for Conan).”
Apparently, the film is going to follow Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Unconquered, where the Cimmerian is nearly overthrown from his rightful throne of Aquilonia, after managing to keep it for about 5 years, tops. So we’re guessing that at least in the movie version, Conan has a firmer grasp of court intrigue and economics. When his worried fans asked whether the 69-year-old actor could pull off the role, Schwarzenegger had this to say:
“One of the advantages for when you train every day,” begins Arnold, “when you bicycle everyday, when you work out every day is that age is not registering in the body the same with everyone else. Because when you stay in shape, you do turn back the clock. So I feel great and the last few movies that I’ve done, I’ve done many of my own stunts. I did all the physical stuff and it didn’t wipe me out and I have plenty of energy and feel really terrific. So I am absolutely convinced that I can do the Conan movie and do the horseback riding, the sword fights and all the fighting.”
So prepare yourselves for a feast of swords. The Sword And Sorcery genre is up for a glorious comeback!