A short while ago we had word of a shortlist of potential Conan movie directors; their specialty was in horror movies. The list included Christoph Gans, Neil Marshall and director of choice, Marcus Nispel. Nispel helmed the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes and more worringly, the terrible Viking movie, “Pathfinder”.
A new director was sought after Brett Ratner stepped down from the helm due to scheduling constraints. The movie is likely to have a smaller budget and could begin production as early as August this year, with reports suggesting Bulgaria as its locale.
Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain are currently working through Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer’s first draft.
An announcement as to who shall play Conan is expected shortly.
Brett Ratner, director of Rush Hour 1–3 and the deplorable X-Men: The Last Stand, has dropped off the Conan project because of scheduling constraints. Producer Joe Gatta revealed the news to Empire:
“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.”
“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.“
When a director is hired an almost immediate open casting call for Conan shall commence.
MTV have briefly spoken with Brett Ratner concerning the new Conan movie, Ratner revealed that the story shall return to its roots and the mythology of the characters before commenting on his own involvement in the adaptation:
“The script is very cool, contemporary,” Ratner told MTV News. “It’s not an homage. It’s not a remake, really. It’s going back to the original source material — the mythology of the characters.”
“[Screenwriters Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain] just did an incredible, incredible job or else I wouldn’t be risking it,” said Ratner. “Because I know how difficult it is to do these movies and its something that I’m really excited about.”
Latino Review have got their hands on Brett Ratner’s new Conan movie script, and to prevent pages of reading they have presented it to us in a handy video featurette produced by El Mayimbe. It discusses the opening few scenes in the movie, the main characters and casting opportunities and the film’s potential as a reboot along the lines of 300:
Speaking with MTV, Brett Ratner revealed that he expects the new Conan lead to be an unknown actor with the potential to be iconic:
“I believe it should be an unknown,” Ratner hinted to MTV News. “Conan is kind of iconic. It’s kind of like when you do Superman.”
“Growing up, my favorite comic book was ‘Conan,’” added Ratner. “[It] was the first comic book I ever read.”
However, Ratner is well aware that taking the reins on an all-new “Conan” project is a task worthy of the barbarian himself. After all, the original series of films hold a special place in fanyboy’s hearts, and replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role is darn-near sacrilege. But Ratner, ever the optimist, believes the time is right for “Conan” to pillage the local multiplex once again.
“Look, it’s difficult to fill those shoes,” insisted Ratner, “But they came up with a new Batman, they came up with a new James Bond, you know?”
In November 2008, in a flurry of excitement from Conan producer Avi Lerner it was announced that Brett Ratner would be directing the 2010 Conan remake — the initial statement in the Hollywood Reporter implied that Ratner had committed himself to the sequel, however it seems that Ratner is still in the final phases of negotiation, according to the LA Times, with the screenwriters polishing the script to incorporate new ideas thrown up in the discussion.
Lerner remains positive that Ratner is perfect for the job:
“He has the passion and feeling for this project–he even wrote a story about Conan when he was 10 years old. He understands the character, he analyzed the script really well. He knows how to make this a really big movie. I like his childlike enthusiasm–he almost sees these movies as wonderful toys. What can I say, he’s a nice, likable Jewish boy.”
Ratner’s involvement hinges on “a few obstacles,” namely “a budget, on how to do the special effects and exactly where we’d shoot the film.” — Early thoughts point to a studio in Bulgaria and some exterior work in China.
But when the LA Times contacted Ratner things turned a little sour:
“I am not doing ‘Conan’ now. This is totally premature. For now, ‘Conan’ is only a development deal. I have a deal at Paramount and I’m doing ‘Beverly Hills Cop ’ first, no matter what. Avi shouldn’t be telling you or anyone else in the press what I’m doing.”