On Thursday, we played pinata with the rumor that Brett Ratner was in talks to helm the $100 million R-rated Conan reboot. Well, Latino Review put the gossip in focus, reporting that Ratner merely took a meeting with Nu Image, and evidently so have a lot of other directors. We think a few of them would be ace for the job.

Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Crank 2, Crank 3/3D, Game, Jonah Hex)

At Slashfilm: In Crank We Trust (a lot). With their debut feature, the duo hit the ground running with so much batty confidence and aggression that we’ll support any genre fare they wish to assault with a bullet-time rig or a gazillion consumer-grade cameras and a mulleted Corey Haim. Moral: If someone throws a ridiculous house party, from then on you just need an invite. Imagining what these guys would do for barbaric decapitations, naked women nestled in animal furs, and a botched crucifixion with vultures (if applicable in the reboot) makes us want to sell your sister to James Earl Jones to make it happen. And their down-to-earth relationship with movie sites would quickly dust off the skepticism amongst readers who didn’t grow up with Milius’s version. But aren’t they insanely busy?

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intacto)

If LR is on the money with this list of prospects, it seems that Nu Image wants to invest in a director(s) with turbo-powered visuals and style to spare. Fresnadillo is apparently scheduled to meet with producers, and he’s a guy we’d recommend for several projects of Conan‘s magnitude…if we didn’t keep forgetting about the dude! In the summer of 2007, the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later was supposed to put the Spanish hotshot on the fanboy map; alas it fell well below Fox Atomic’s box office expectations. That said, along with the 10 people at my screening and the New York Times, I was knocked-over by how well he handled action, tension, gore, clever subtext, and a modern flare too often attributed to coked-out music video directors. I was possibly even more knocked-over by future runs-ins with 28WL haters and meh’ers. Fresnadillo is likely seen as untested for the dinero at play here, but the talent is obvious. With a solid cast, he’s a fantastic gamble. Take advantage.

Other directors who’ve sat down with Nu Image include the long rumoured Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday), James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, Ninja Assassin, Wachowski Bros’ protege), Greg and Colin Strause (AVP-R, fuck this), and Robert Rodriguez, who’s been attached to a reboot for years, and is said to remain choice numero uno, but he can’t work it in. Oh yeah, and Brett Ratner (Chris Tucker’s career, swimming pools). So, the list is pretty encouraging, with a few welcome surprises. More as it develops.

Discuss: Out of the directors here, who would you choose? Why do you think the level of interest in a Conan reboot isn’t incredibly strong?

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