Rose McGowan and Rachel Nichols both play key roles in this weekend’s new release, “Conan The Barbarian.” I saw the film a few weeks ago in preparation for the press day, and while I can’t review it yet, I can say that it is less a movie and more of a direct and unrelenting assault. Everything about it is pumped up and insane. It is Marcus Nispel screaming in your face, something unintelligible about “Howard” and “Crom” and “Boobs” and “Blood.”
So. Much. Blood.
If you’re casting to match the hyper-exaggerated world you’ve created, then you’re looking to cast women who can embody the sort of van-art-super-curvy-exaggerated archetype. And so you’re not just looking for attractive, you’re looking for something striking.
Nispel makes good use of Rachel Nichols, who has been a strong addition to a lot of geek fare in the past like “Alias” or “G.I. Joe” or “P2,” and he is well aware of the Jessica-Rabbit-In-3D value of casting her. With Rose McGowan, who has changed to a striking degree since her first appearance in “The Doom Generation,” he uses the not-of-the-time-period look of McGowan now as part of her identity as an otherworldly witch. He plays both women as icons, part of the are-you-out-of-your-mind aesthetic of the film.
Sitting down with each of them, I was struck by how pleased they were with the film, or at least with the things they’d gotten to do. I think they’re both good conversations, and there are certainly worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Expect a full review later in the week.
“Conan The Barbarian” opens everywhere in 3D and 2D on Friday.