If you weren’t cognizant of the world during the summer of 1982, you really missed out. In May of that year, Arnold Schwarzenegger came bursting onto our theater screens all muscled and oiled as the titular hero of Conan the Barbarian, and the history of entertainment changed forever. Not only did Schwarzenegger become a superstar who would go on to lead some of the biggest action movies ever made, but his successful turn as Conan led to a string of sword and sorcery epics, which (honestly) usually weren’t that great but were lots of fun to watch, nonetheless. Now, Conan the Barbarian is getting a TV show, and I can’t help but hope that Schwarzenegger gets involved at some point.
According to a new report from Deadline, Netflix has now put a live action series into development which will follow the famed barbarian. Apparently, this project is the first in a major deal between the streamer and Conan Properties International, which gives Netflix the exclusive option to acquire rights to the literary library for the character, so that it can produce films and or television shows in either live action or animated formats.
The proposed show is from Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler’s Pathfinder Media. Malmberg’s Cabinet Entertainment owns Conan Properties International. Wheeler and Malmberg are set to executive produce the possible new series, while a search is currently underway for a writer / showrunner to take the reins and craft the story, as well as for a director to helm the potential series.
Even if you did miss out on the filmic sword and sorcery boom of the 1980s that came from the success of Conan the Barbarian, you’ve no doubt noticed that the property is still quite popular. There have been thousands of comics, hundreds of novels and several video games based on the original tales, which were written by Robert E. Howard and first published in 1932. In addition to that, the muscle-bound sword-wielder was also featured in Conan the Destroyer (also with Schwarzenegger) in 1984, two animated series, one previous live action series and a film reboot, starring Jason Momoa, in 2011.
While Conan the Barbarian was far from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film debut, it was certainly the movie that launched the body builder into the celebrity stratosphere. He might seem more indelibly connected to The Terminator, but a lot of that has to do with the number of sequels, reboots and years involved in that mega-franchise. As recently as 2017, though, there were still tentative plans to try and get at least one more Schwarzenegger-starring sequel up on the big screen. Even though that seems to have been a bust, it doesn’t mean that this potential series has to go without the Governator, and I certainly hope it doesn’t.
The efforts to keep Conan going in live action without Schwarzenegger have all faltered. We all know that the man is more than willing to return to past properties as long as he feels the opportunity is right, so all the writers of the new Conan the Barbarian have to do is find a way to catch up with our original Conan for at least a little bit. I’d even be cool if the producers brought Schwarzenegger on to consult or something. As long as he’s involved somehow, I feel like this project will be on even more solid ground.
Obviously, this iteration of Conan the Barbarian is in the very early stages at Netflix, so be sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest!