Conan the Barbarian

August 19th 2011
  • Action/Fantasy,
  • R,
  • Lionsgate
  • Cast: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Stephen Lang, Rachel Nichols, Rose McGowan, Saïd Taghmaoui, Steven O'Donnell, Read Rawi, Bob Sapp, Katarzyna Wolejnio, Leo Howard, Nonso Anozie, Milton Welsh, Raw Leiba, Bashar Rahal
  • Director: Marcus Nispel
  • Writers: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Sean Hood, Robert E. Howard
  • Producers: Boaz Davidson, Joe Gatta, Avi Lerner, Fredrik Malmberg, Les Weldon
  • Executive Producers: Danny Dimbort, George Furla, Trevor Short, Henry Winterstern
  • Art Direction: James Steuart
  • Castings: Kerry Barden, Kate Dowd, Paul Schnee
  • Costume Design: Wendy Partridge
  • D.O.P.: Thomas Kloss
  • Editor: Ken Blackwell
  • Makeup: C.J. Goldman
  • Music: Tyler Bates
  • Production Design: Chris August
  • Set Decoration: Judy Farr


A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Sofia, Bulgaria
  • MPAA Warning: Strong bloody violence, some sexuality and nudity
  • Production Budget: $90 million
  • Production Companies: Lionsgate, Millennium Films, Nu Image Films, Paradox Entertainment
  • Production Schedule: 15 March 2010 - June 2010

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2011 Guide Analysis: "An odd choice for a reboot, Robert E. Howard's fantasy hero was initially a pulp hero creation of the 30's like the more sci-fi oriented Flash Gordon. Yet it's the 80's film incarnation, personified by a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, which has become so synonymous with the character to the point that any new attempt to revive the property will have a hard time breaking down that public perception.

Warners tried for the best part of a decade to get another "Conan" film going with the likes of the Wachowskis, Robert Rodriguez, Boaz Yakin and original 'Conan' director John Milius all attached at one point or another. All of their attempts failed however, and the project ended up in the hands of Millennium Films in 2007 with the understanding that the film had to be made quickly.

Brett Ratner's name was floated about as director at one point, but the job ultimately went to German filmmaker Marcus Nispel whose previous films have included two reboots ("Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Friday the 13th") and a sword & sandals epic (2007 Viking war tale flop "Pathfinder"). Shooting on the project kicked off in March in Eastern Europe.

Chosen for the lead was former "Baywatch" actor Jason Momoa, beating out both "Twilight" actor Kellan Lutz and the living embodiment of male sex appeal that is "Supernatural" actor Jared Padalecki. Momoa has played a similar warrior character in "Stargate Atlantis" for much of the past five years but upon landing this job became very committed to it, working out like a madman to add several dozen pounds of muscle to his already large 215 pound (97 kg) frame.

Joining him are some interesting supporting cast members including Rachel Nichols as the love interest, Ron Perlman as Conan's father, "Avatar" baddie Stephen Lang as the villain and Rose McGowan as an evil half-witch. There's still some big questions to be answered here, aside from the obvious ones like do modern audiences have any real interest in the character any more, and is Momoa a good fit for the role?

Milius' original film was a delightful fluke that probably shouldn't have worked - and yet did. Armed with producer Dino De Laurentiis' taste for the lavish, a script co-written by a young Oliver Stone, Basil Poledouris' blaring orchestral soundtrack and Milius' own somewhat twisted sensibility - it was a dark and violent take on the genre filled with blood, tits, black magic and a very basic revenge story.

It wasn't particularly loyal to Howard's "Conan" books either, cribbing elements from his various other creations and actual historical figures. Yet it holds up even today and was a big success both in the U.S. and internationally, turning Schwarzenegger into an overnight star.

The follow-up effort "Conan the Destroyer" was neither as well received or financially successful, a big part of that being the studio's desire to tone down the violence, sex and darkness that would allow more kids to see it - in the process robbing the franchise of many of the elements that made it unique. This take on "Conan" is said to be a return to the serious and R-rated tone of the source material.

Yet coming in at a costly $100 million, no major marquee names attached and a release targeting the generally quiet mid-August period, this seems a somewhat strange gamble on behalf of smaller studios which frankly can't absorb a big-budget loss the way the majors can. Lionsgate faces a decidedly uphill battle marketing this despite the familiarity people may have with the character. Best of luck to them."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 17 August 2011: France
  • 18 August 2011: Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore
  • 19 August 2011: Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden
  • 24 August 2011: Switzerland
  • 26 August 2011: Finland, UK
  • 8 September 2011: Germany