Despite its inherent appeal, the Conan the Barbarian series has struggled to gain real traction ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger hung up his sword. There have been attempts at reboots, but mainstream success still seems a long way off. That said, it now appears that everyone's favorite mythic hero may soon find new life, and despite recent reports of the big screen Legend of Conan reboot being cancelled, a TV series could still materialize in the very near future. President & CEO of Cabinet Entertainment Fredrik Malmberg explained:
Ultimately, the studio let the rights expire. The positive news is that Conan Properties now controls everything again, and are currently producing both TV and Film with a lot more control than we had previously. Everybody wants The Legend of Conan to happen and it will.
The wait for a new Conan project has been arduous for fans of the classic barbarian franchise, but Fredrik Malmberg's recent comments to TheArnoldFans are nothing if not encouraging. After deciding not to pursue an expensive Conan the Barbarian movie, Universal ultimately let the rights to the property expire. As a result of this decision, the rights to Conan have reverted to Conan Properties -- thus giving the original Conan owners complete creative control over the future of the character for another shot at the Legend of Conan film, as well as the TV series.
This is a proven method of success. Marvel Studios similarly utilized this strategy back in the mid-2000s when it opted to commence the Marvel Cinematic Universe with characters that it had rights to, such as Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor -- rather than shelling out money for another Spider-Man reboot. The result was a more faithful adaptation of the Marvel universe, and that's something that we could soon see on the small screen for Conan the Barbarian.
Of course, this raises another question about how extreme this Conan series will be. Luckily, it sounds like Conan the Barbarian will be allowed to completely embrace his inner badass and let the blood and guts fly. Fredrik Malmberg opened up further and explained the type of network that the new Conan is shooting for:
A premium cable show for mature audiences.
Those are the keywords that bode well for the Conan TV series. If the success of an HBO show like Game of Thrones is any indication, audiences will gravitate towards adult-oriented fantasy if it's handled correctly. The Conan property naturally lends itself to a more mature and restrictive rating, so knowing that the folks behind the series want to go all in on all of Conan's gory, barbaric glory is pretty damn enticing.