Jason Momoa is the New Conan the Barbarian

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Recently we heard that Nu Image/Millennium and Lionsgate were looking at three actors as possible options to be the new Conan the Barbarian in the film to be directed by Marcus Nispel. There was Jason Momoa, from Stargate: Atlantis; Kellan Lutz from Twilight;  and a third, then-unnamed actor who turned out to be Jared Padalecki. Now two sources are reporting that the choice has been made, and it is Momoa.

Latino Review and Deadline Hollywood (the latter being the source of the original casting info) broke the news at about the same time this evening. This is the first really interesting news that has come out about the film. At the time Momoa’s name came out as an option I noted that he had a great look for the character — he’s physically imposing, but also looks smart and calculating. He’s not just some brute, and therefore a lot closer to Robert E. Howard‘s original version of the character than was Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Both sources report report that Momoa has been the top choice of Marcus Nispel, with LR saying that he charmed the hell out of execs and Deadline saying a few test scenes Nispel shot of Momoa in character were the tipping point. Either way, it’s an intriguing choice, and I’m happy to see that Kellan Lutz wasn’t chosen simply for the fact that he’s in Twilight.

Additionally, Latino Review is hearing that Mickey Rourke has been offered a role as Conan’s father. That’s just an offer for now, but we’ll keep on top of the cast as it develops. Shooting is scheduled for March in Bulgaria.

Before Conan hits, Momoa will be seen in the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones, with the pilot directed by Thomas McCarthy.

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