Can a 1930s pulp hero make a comeback in 2011? No, we’re not talking about “John Carter of Mars” (yes, we know he debuted in 1911, but gained fame in comic books in the 30s and 40s). The hero looking to make a name for himself in the 21st Century is none other than Conan the Barbarian.
Most moviegoers know Conan from “Conan the Barbarian” and “Conan the Destroyer,” the action series that made Arnorld Schwarzenegger a star. While the fictional warrior hasn’t hit the big screen since a supporting role in 1985’s “Red Sonja,” the character lived on in two animated series and a short-lived live action show in the ’90s. Attempts to bring “Conan” back to theaters failed mostly because they were tied to attempt to rope in an increasingly disinterested Schwarzenegger back into the fold. 2011 is a new era, however, and Marcus Nispel (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Friday the 13th”) is helming a brand new reboot of the series. Former “Stargate: Atlantis” star Jason Momoa is your new Conan and Rose McGowan, Stephen Lang, Ron Perlman and Rachel Nichols are on board for a sweeping new fantasy adventure…maybe.
The question marks revolve around Nispel, who hasn’t made a good film without the meddling hands of Platinum Dunes on set, and financier Nu Image/Millenium Films. Besides critical acclaim for their “Bad Lieutenant” remake, Richard Donner’s “16 Blocks” and Brian De Palma’s “Black Dahlia,” they have left a trail of disappointing B movies in their wake. Will “Conan” break that disturbing trend? Judging by the teaser trailer distributor Lionsgate released on Friday, that’s still to be determined. The preview is old school teaser using just smoke and some fuzzy imagery to give a tease of what “Conan” could be. Is it meant to excited the fanbase or just bring some style to the proceedings? We’re not sure, but you can watch it embedded below and judge for yourself.
“Conan the Barbarian” opens nationwide and in 3D on Aug. 19.