New “Conan” Film Fast-Tracked By Lionsgate

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Lionsgate is so keen on pushing a new Conan film into production that they’ve hired two sets of writers to draft parallel scripts for the film. No director has been attached to the film at this point, but sources close to the project have said that the intent is to reinvent the franchise based on Robert E. Howard’s stories of the famed barbarian.

Currently, Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain are writing one script for the project, while Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara) have been writing another script.

THR reports that Paradox Entertainment president and CEO Fredrik Malmberg, who is producing the Conan film along with Boaz Davidson, Joe Gatta and Avi Lerner of Millennium FilmsMalmberg, recently explained that the project is a "fast-tracked movie" and that "Lionsgate felt the process was enhanced by having a second team come in and do a script."

As for the decision to return to the film franchise that began with 1982’s Arnold Schwarzenegger portrayal of the character:

"Fans expect (these types of movies) to be more true to the source material," Malmberg said. "There’s no reason there couldn’t be a Conan movie every two years. He’s almost like Batman: He’s a dark hero. He’s a hard hero. He has to be badass, but we also have to like him."

(via ICv2)