Hollywood loves a remake. Why get writers to invest time in original ideas when you can just take something off the DVD shelf and rework it with a new and edgy cast. Kids loves edge – it’s all they talk about. One of this summer’s potential gems is Conan the Barbarian starring former Stargate Atlantis hunk Jason Momoa in the titular role.
This latest trailer looks suitably epic and equally stupid in just the right way for a Hollywood blockbuster. With enough positive buzz Conan has the potential to become a late summer hit.
Strictly speaking this isn’t a remake but rather a reinterpretation of the source material. The material in question is a series of fantasy stories by American writer Robert E. Howard first published in 1932. However in terms of popular culture the character is probably most famous for a duo of 1980s films starring all-action politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Austrian former bodybuilder starred in 1982′s Conan the Barbarian, effectively launching him as a bankable action star years before anyone would hear of the Terminator. He reprised the role 2 years later in Conan the Destroyer but a lukewarm box office put plans for any further films on hold.
Swords and sorcery fantasy are in the zeitgeist with Game of Thrones proving popular as a television adaptation on HBO. In movie terms fantasy can be a difficult genre to get right even with solid franchise recognition. In recent times Dragonball Evolution flopped spectacularly and The Last Airbender proved incapable of launching a franchise. The more child friendly Lord of the Rings films proved that there is an audience for the genre provided the film is of a high enough quality.
Jason Momoa certainly looks the part but it is a risk for any movie to realease a blockbuster without a star name in the lead. Indeed the entire cast is filled with realiable genre actor’s including Charmed’s Rose McGowan, Alias’s Rachel Nichols and Hellboy actor Ron Perlman .This summer X-Men: First Class proved that once you remove the Hugh Jackman factor then audience interest drops dramatically.
The director is Marcus Nispel, a veteran music video director who was directed just a few motion pictures under his belt including the much derided Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes. However a mid-level budget means that the studio will are not taking too much risk on this project. They will also be hoping the 3D conversion can still give it a gentle boost although its week of release will see 3D screens shared between the Fright Night remake and Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World.
Conan the Barbarian is released on 26th August in the UK and 19th August in the US.
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