Monday, November 17, 2008

Crom!

Old news, I know, but I'm posting it anyway in case any of my readers haven't heard the latest: the Conan movie project seems to be alive and well again and Brett Ratner's name is now attached to it as director. Rattner is the music video director who's probably best known for being the Joel Schumacher of the X-Men movies franchise. And now he's set his sights on Howard's iconic character ...

I'm going to try very hard to keep an open mind about this, given that the movie's current script was supposedly written by guys who'd actually read REH rather than simply relying on the execrable Schwarzenegger films from the 80s as their sole source of information about the character. That said, the article I linked too also noted that said script is now being "polished" to incorporate some of Rattner's own ideas. What are the odds that Rattner is a regular reader of The Cimmerian? Not good, I know.

Bleh.

11 comments:

  1. guys who'd actually read REH rather than simply relying on the execrable Schwarzenegger films
    I hear that they're trying to get Schwarzenegger in for a cameo, so I wouldn't get your hopes up...

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  2. Very, very nervous here.

    I'm not even going to be so freaked out about canon if they can just capture some of the freewheeling, adventurous spirit that makes Conan so great. I worry they'll get bogged down in some megaplot (anything to get CGI armies fighting together).

    We shall see. Hollywood has done better with geek properties in the last 10 years, but we should never underestimate their ability to truly ruin something.

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  3. According to the LA Times, the Ratner rumour is premature:


    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/the_big_picture/2008/11/brett-ratner-an.html


    I don't have great hopes, though -- there are hints that this is going to be a "Conan origin story".

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  4. Expect *nothing* good to come out of the idea-free Hollywood copypasta machine; that way anything good which does emerge (against all odds) is a pleasant surprise.

    Initial neck-out guess: it'll be Van Helsing-meets-Scorpion King and will kill S&S fantasy as a filmic genre for the next 20 years.

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  5. I'm not a Ratner fan (read: apologist) but neither do I think that he's terrible. The Rush Hour movies were passable for what they were. I think he actually gets undue blame for X3. People tend to forget he stepped in fairly late in the process and most of the plot points--including the deaths of certain characters--were already planned. X3 is still head and shoulders better than the last Spider-man. (A dance number? Really?).

    That said, I'm not enthused about his potential for Conan. I expect that it will be about as good as the Punisher movies. Lots of action with little love for source material.

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  6. the Ratner rumour is premature

    That's encouraging. Thanks!

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  7. I'm not even going to be so freaked out about canon if they can just capture some of the freewheeling, adventurous spirit that makes Conan so great.

    I (largely) agree. That said, the Conan movies will be many people's only introduction to the character and, through him, to REH's creative imagination. I would hope that the screenwriters and producers of the film -- not to mention Conan Enterprises -- would feel some obligation to ensure that the resulting picture is more faithful to the source material than were the Schwarzenegger films.

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  8. Maybe the storyline could be more faithful to Howards but they could do worse than follow the pacing of the original movie - the only good barbarian movie ever made. The key to that movie was restraint - minimal dialog, sets and even the action sequences weren't overdone (see the LOTR movies).

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  9. My prediction is that by picking Ratner, an infamous Hollywood 'yes-man', the producers are aiming for a blood-and-guts styled action film in the same hemisphere as the awful comic book adaption 300. The only bits of Howard influence that will survive will be the sex and violence, and even then they won't get it right - the tone of the film will be the usual vapid MTV styled nonsense. It'll be insufferable and lame to the rest of us, but the teenies will love it and it will rake in a load of cash at the box office. Watered down sequels will follow. The big-time Howard fans will weep.

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  10. I (largely) agree. That said, the Conan movies will be many people's only introduction to the character and, through him, to REH's creative imagination. I would hope that the screenwriters and producers of the film -- not to mention Conan Enterprises -- would feel some obligation to ensure that the resulting picture is more faithful to the source material than were the Schwarzenegger films.

    From what I hear, the right holders (Conan Properties International, LLC) wish to keep Conan as true to REH as possible. The novels, the comics, and even the RPG have stayed true to the original source. They see the fan-base as hardcore purists, who takes grate offense to substandard incarnations - and their right! LOL They know Howard's works alone make for some hardcore fans, and they know that a successful movie would help to enlarge the fan-base.

    I'm trying to remain optimistic about the project. I hope they find a good Director that would make the movie both pure and awesome! (and not in a way that would make an MTV Suit think is awesome)

    I also hear that it going to be an origins story based on the whole "born on the battlefield" concept. It this is anything like the DH comics, then hopefully we can a young Conan who actually have a good set of brass! ;)

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  11. IMO, there are two Conan stories that are good enough that even people who are not fantasy fans could like:

    "Beyond the Black River"
    "Red Nails"

    I think a meticulously faithful film version of "Beyond the Black River" would be the best bet for a Conan film.

    We also need a black-haired, blue-eyed Celt (around 6' 2" and 210 pounds) with a hairy chest and muscles derived from manual labor to play Conan. We mostly certainly do not need a waxed and oiled bodybuilder with a six-pack.

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