Dec. 03, 2012 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Conan’ producer: Arnold’s aging Barbarian faces self-doubt

When screenwriter-producer Chris Morgan met with Arnold Schwarzenegger this fall to pitch him a proposed sequel to “Conan the Barbarian,” the Governator required convincing on one matter above all others – and it had nothing to do with wearing a furry codpiece. At a time when Schwarzenegger, 65, is attempting to reclaim his throne in Hollywood after years stalking Sacramento’s corridors of power, why should he return to Conan? Why should he follow in his own footsteps to the pre-“Terminator” role that shot him to stardom? “To put yourself out there in your 60s? As Conan the Barbarian? I could see why he’d hesitate,” Morgan said. “You’re really putting yourself out there.” In the end, though, Morgan – whose screenwriting credits include the last four “Fast & the Furious” sequels and the hit 2008 Angelina Jolie thriller “Wanted” – convinced […]
Aug. 22, 2011 | 11:26 a.m.

‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Conan’: Jason Momoa goes for the throat

Twenty-three floors above city pavement, Jason Momoa leaned on a window at the Ritz Carlton and stared down at the bright lights of his Hollywood hopes. “There it is, look at that,” the 32-year-old actor said, nodding toward the huge “Conan the Barbarian” banner and waiting red carpet at the Regal Cinemas across the street. “You know, I’ve never owned a suit before but I got one for tonight.” Many of Momoa’s fans have never seen the brawny star in a shirt much less a tuxedo. Not only is he the star of Lionsgate’s “Conan” he portrayed the even more ferocious Drogo on 10 episodes of the acclaimed HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Next up is Walter Hill’s “Bullet to the Head” with Sylvester Stallone and Christian Slater. Our Geoff Boucher sat down with the Honolulu native before the  premiere of “Conan,” which […]
Aug. 17, 2011 | 4:58 p.m.

New ‘Conan’ movie aims to bring back the barbarian

Conan the Barbarian doesn’t ask for much. “I live, I love, I slay, I am content,” he’s fond of saying. But the people behind Friday’s sword-and-sandals remake have more complicated ambitions for the big bruiser: putting some barbarity back into the barbarian. Created in the 1930s by pulp author Robert E. Howard and immortalized by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982’s camp-movie classic, Conan the Barbarian evolved from a menacing killer into an amiable superhero. Featured in Marvel comic books, a Saturday morning cartoon and a Universal Studios Hollywood stage show, the conqueror slowly but unquestionably went soft. Lionsgate, Nu Image and Paradox Entertainment hope their new “Conan the Barbarian” movie restores some of the swordsman’s edge. In reinventing Conan, the filmmakers have jammed the movie with scenes reminiscent of an array of recent films, including “Lord of the Rings,” “Pirates of […]
May 11, 2010 | 11:47 a.m.

Guillermo del Toro on Frank Frazetta: ‘He gave the world a new pantheon of heroes’

Guillermo del Toro, Neal Adams and John Milius remember Frank Frazetta in this longer version of the obituary I wrote for Tuesday’s edition of the Los Angeles Times.  Frank Frazetta, the fantasy painter and illustrator whose images of sinewy warriors and lush vixens graced paperback novels, album covers and comic books for decades and became something close to the contemporary visual definition of the sword-and-sorcery genres, died Monday after suffering a stroke the night before. He was 82. Frazetta had gone out to dinner with his daughters Sunday and then had a stroke at his home in Boca Grande, Fla. He died at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Fla., his manager Rob Pistella told the Associated Press. “He’s going to be remembered as the most renowned fantasy illustrator of the 20th century,” Pistella said. Frazetta’s most famous works were […]
March 26, 2010 | 8:00 p.m.

John Milius opens fire on new ‘Red Dawn’: ‘It’s a stupid thing to do’

Over at 24 Frames, our sister blog, John Milius, the director and writer of the original “Red Dawn” (as well as the co-writer of  “Apocalypse Now” “Jeremiah Johnson” and many other manly-man films) tells Rachel Abramowitz that the upcoming remake of the film is a few rounds short of a full clip. “I think it’s a stupid thing to do. The movie is not very old,” said Milius, who’s not involved in the new film but was given a chance to read the new script. “It was terrible. There was a strange feeling to the whole thing. They were fans of the movie, so they put in stuff they thought was neat. It’s all about neat action scenes and has nothing to do with story.” In the original film, the Soviet Union has invaded the continental United States, and a group of […]
Nov. 13, 2008 | 7:06 p.m.

Conan, ‘The Dark Knight’ DVD and James Bond in Everyday Hero headlines

Today’s edition of Everyday Hero, your handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe… Negoitating the truth: It’s a pretty common tactic in Hollywood to put out a press release to “create a buzz” for a deal that’s not even done — the hope is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. That seems to be the case with the “news” earlier this week that Brett Ratner was on board to direct a new “Conan the Barbarian” film, according to Patrick Goldstein, the Los Angeles Times columnist and author of The Big Picture blog. Goldstein talked to both producer Avi Lerner and Ratner and found out that the sword-and-sandal revival isn’t as solid as suggested: “One of Hollywood’s most persuasive salesman, Lerner told me this morning that Ratner was the perfect director. ‘He has the passion and feeling for this project — he even […]
Nov. 11, 2008 | 10:14 p.m.

Barack Obama’s comics collection, Will Eisner, and the Magneto film in Everyday Hero headlines

Today’s handpicked headlines for the fanboy universe in our Everyday Hero report … The Air Force One reading list: President-elect Barack Obama is a fanboy, at least according to Jon Swaine, who reports that the next leader of the free world will apparently be lugging a box of Marvel Comics with him when he moves into the White House. Swain has a tally called "Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know," and right there at the very top of the list it says: "He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics." Wow, we need more information here. Is he a Steve Ditko fan or more of a Todd McFarlane man? Does he prefer the black suit or classic red-and blue Spidey? Does the future first lady get upset when he lingers too long on the Red Sonja issues […]
Nov. 10, 2008 | 3:09 p.m.

Captain America, Buck Rogers and the barbaric Brett Ratner in Everyday Hero headlines

Today’s handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe… Wrapped in the flag: The Captain America movie, which will be a World War II tale and lead up to the hero’s appearance in the modern-day setting of the "The Avengers," will be directed by Joe Johnston, who has experience with the vintage-style screen adventures with "The Rocketeer." Johnston also directed "Jumanji," "Jurassic Park III" and the upcoming werewolf revival, "The Wolf Man," which stars Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins. Borys Kit interviewed Marvel Studios executive and "Cap" producer Kevin Feige for this morning’s announcement story in the trades: "Johnston first met with Marvel two years ago. When the two parties clicked, general talks turned into Captain America-specific meetings, with much of the project’s current direction resulting from those early conversations. ‘This is a guy who designed the vehicles for ‘Star Wars,’ […]
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