When Millennium Films' Conan the Barbarian hit cinemas last year, it seemed that any hope of seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to his breakthrough role as Robert E. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian had been well and truly shattered.
The promised sequel King Conan: Crown of Iron spent many a year in development hell, passing through the hands of filmmakers such as John Milius (Conan the Barbarian), The Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) and Boaz Yakin (Rememeber the Titans), before Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) stepped in as Arnie's replacement for director Marcel Nispel's (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) poorly-received reboot.
However, while Crown of Iron will sadly never see the light of day, Deadline has revealed that Schwarzenegger will be back after all, with the former California governor signing on to reprise the role for The Legend of Conan, which will disregard the events of the 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer, as well as Millennium's reboot.
"The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make," reveals Paradox Entertainment Fredrik Malmberg, who will produce the new sequel alongside Universal's Chris Morgan (Fast Five, 47 Ronin). "It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king,
warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than
anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to
Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle."
"I always loved the Conan character and I’m honored to be asked to step into the role once again," said Schwarzenegger, who got his cinematic comeback underway this year alongside the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis in The Expendables 2. "I can’t wait to work with Universal and the great team of [producers] Fredrik
Malmberg and Chris Morgan to develop the next step of this truly epic
According to the report, Universal is "yet to figure out whether the film will be R-rated," but are looking at bringing The Legend of Conan to cinemas in the summer of 2014. Meanwhile Arnold will next be seen in January as returns to top-billing for the action comedy The Last Stand, before reteaming with fellow Expendable Sly Stallone in September 2013 with the release of The Tomb.