Marcus Nispel To Direct Conan


Update: Variety has confirmed the story.

My former CHUD colleague Devin Faraci is reporting that Millennium / Nu Image have finalized the search for a Conan director, and the choice is Marcus Nispel, who headed up the re-dos of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th . Devin relies on an unnamed “impeccable source” but he isn’t one to run everything that drops into the inbox. You can treat this as rumor if you’d like until confirmation appears, but Devin’s faith in the source and the story are a good indicator that it is on the money. Is Nispel the right guy for the film? Read More »

Almost Confirmed: Brett Ratner To Direct Conan

Conan PosterAint It Cool News is kinda, sorta, may be, confirming the rumor that Brett Ratner will be directing Conan for Lionsgate. Written by Outlander scribes Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain, the $100 million R-rated tent pole is neither a remake or a sequel, as they are starting over from the original stories.

Conan was created by Robert E. Howard in a series of fantasy pulp stories published in Weird Tales in the 1930s, later popularized in the 1982 John Milius film Conan the Barbarian, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones.

Why must Brett Ratner keep attaching himself to beloved film properties? Why can’t he direct something original, a stupid spec script that no one cares about. Why must he ruin it for the fans? Ratner, please, if you’re reading this – go direct your Hugh Heffner biopic, and leave Conan, Beverly Hills Cop IV, and God of War to a better suited filmmaker.

UPDATE 2: TWC is getting back to us. Now they say tomorrow.

UPDATE: A reader from says, “There’s been no confirmation about the DVD date and nearest myself and one of the producers can tell there really isn’t a date set for the DVD much less a theatrical release. Plus, The Weinstein Company is contractually obligated to give outlander at least a limited theatrical release.” We’ll be contacting TWC tomorrow.

Recipe: Go into the closet and dust off Castle Grayskull. Place an E.T. figurine with its arms raised on one of the turrets. Pour a goblet filled with red wine all over it. Now set it on fire. Pretend it’s worth $47 million. Send a recording of this to The Weinstein Co. in New York and entitle it “Angry Outlander Fan.” Kill yourself.

It’s a sad day when a movie featuring Vikings battling a giant, monstrous alien with the help of a spaceman doesn’t see a theatrical release. Do you know what P.T. Barnum could have done with this premise? Slashfilm planned on seeing Outlander on the big screen. Sober. We liked the trailers. We were stoked on what little buzz there was, including a super passionate plea to Ye Gods over at AICN. It wasn’t a friggin’ remake or a Vin Diesel movie or AVPR, just an ever-rare shot at original genre fare. And based partially on their dedicated work, writer-director Howard McCain and fellow screenwriter Dirk Blackman were recently hired to rewrite Lionsgate’s $100 mill Conan reboot.

If Outlander sucked, we were confident the post-screening laughs and riffage would have made it worthwhile, even more so than Death Race (pretty funny remake, that one). But the fact remains: we could say we were effing there. It would have been a lifetime bond or a primo /Filmcast. Alas, Dread Central has discovered a DVD listing on Amazon via Movies Unlimited for November 18th. Conclusion: it’s been dumped.

There’s no word from TWC on the matter, but the film’s been without a release date for eons. I really hope the studio’s justification isn’t, “Well, Viking movies don’t play” complete with a box office scientist pointing smugly to Pathfinder and The 13th Warrior. Is this the point we’ve reached for genre movies? “Pirates don’t play,” “Vikings don’t play,” cannibals and on down the line?” Knowing TWC, there won’t be any justification. If they treated kids like movies, their basement would have been on the nightly news some time ago.

via Dark Horizons

Rumblings of a new Conan movie have been ongoing for two years now, and today Lionsgate announced a fresh pair of screenwriters for its $100 million, R-rated tent pole. Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain will rework the former script. The duo previously wrote Outlander, the vikings-versus-alien movie currently growing moss over at The Weinstein Co. In recent months, Outlander has earned a fair number of supporters, Slashfilm included. AICN even wrote a letter to Harvey Weinstein praising the film and pleading for a wide release. From our standpoint, their involvement in this franchise has potential. Here’s what producer Fredrick Malmberg told the trades…

“We all want this movie to go into production as soon as possible,” Malmberg said. “It’s a fast-tracked movie. Lionsgate felt the process was enhanced by having a second team come in and do a script.”

The prior screenwriting team he’s referring to? Back in January we reported that Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara, The Sound of Thunder) were hired as Conan scribes.

Malmberg makes the requisite comparison to The Dark Knight, calling the barbarian a “dark hero” and a “badass,” and stating the importance of keeping faithful to the source material. No director is attached. In the past, Robert Rodriguez, Rob Zombie and Neil Marshall have been mentioned for the job.  

Discuss: How do you feel about the writers of Outlander for a $100 million, R-rated Conan movie?