Conan the Barbarian: Hoping for the best, but not expecting the worst

Well my fellow barbarians and barbettes, we are only a mere 30 days away from the premiere of the much anticipated rebooted Conan the Barbarian movie. As the date nears, more and more promotional stuff is pouring out of Lionsgate to entice and intrigue us.

The trailers, commercials and posters all look slick and professional, featuring Jason Momoa who looks pretty close to the Conan Howard wrote about. While appearances can be deceiving, the actor has been saying all the right things and seems sincere about capturing Conan as Howard envisioned him.

Obviously, I won’t walk into the theater expecting to see Howard’s Conan on the big screen, but I am willing to give the movie a chance. The Paradox folks have done right by Howard, so I’ll be there supporting them. I have heard the sequel will be based on one of Howard’s Conan stories, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – a second film is several years down the road.

This first film is made up pretty much whole-cloth, with some events in the Cimmerian’s life sprinkled in. This is part of the mindset that every hero needs an origin story. In taking this approach, a lot of liberties were taken with the saga of Conan. While it might be well meaning, it is somewhat misguided in the case of Conan. Howard would ocassionally drop hints about Conan’s early years in the stories, which were written in no particular order, but never wrote an origin story. The phase “born on the battlefield” is enough of an origin story for me.

The hope among serious Howard fans is that the movie will prompt people to seek out the original Conan stories and from there, jump to the many other characters he wrote of.  Thankfully, the Del Reys are readily available and if they look further, they’ll locate other sources for Howard stories and material such as the REH Foundation Press, as well as all the material available online – both here and at the other Howard related websites and blogs. 

Meanwhile, while you are waiting for August 19th, mosey on over to the Conan the Movie blog for the most up-to-date news and analysis on the film by TGR contributor Al Harron. And don’t forget to gird your loins before taking your seat in the theater – for sure if you are sitting in one of those D-Box motion seats – it is going to be a bumpy ride through (*gag*) Hyboria.

Update: The first full scene from the movie just released online and it boggles the mind with its absurdity.