Once he left the governor’s office Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t waste any time getting back to his big screen action roots, lining up one high-profile star gig after another. A return to the Terminator series has been rumored for a while now, but the prospect of seeing the Austrian Oak donning shades, a shotgun, and biker duds to battle evil robots at his age doesn’t particularly excite me. If you need proof as to why I feel that way, you obviously haven’t seen Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
But I know I’m not alone in possessing a long-held desire to see Schwarzenegger return to the iconic role that launched his career as a cinematic action hero in 1982’s fantasy-adventure classic Conan the Barbarian. John Milius wrote and directed the feature (with contributions from future rabble-rousing filmmaker Oliver Stone) with the intention of making a trilogy of grand epics revolving around Robert E. Howard‘s legendary thief, warrior, and king. Sadly though those intentions went unrealized as Milius was elbowed out of the series following the release of the first film when producer Dino De Laurentiis decided to go a more family-friendly route for the PG-rated 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer. That movie was derided as meager Saturday afternoon entertainment for kids by fans of the original and longtime followers of the character’s brawny pulp exploits. Despite an attempt by Milius to revive the franchise in the 90’s with a script entitled King Conan: Crown of Iron, the series would lay dormant for nearly three decades. A CGI-enhanced 3D reboot of the series directed by Marcus Nispel bombed at the box office in August 2011.
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