I just read an interesting article written by one of the screenwriters of "Conan the Barbarian" starring Jason Momoa. The newly released film hasn't been well received overall and the script doctor falls on the pungee stick in a minor mea culpa over the flicks reception.
I liked the new Conan movie well enough, and felt that Jason Momoa looked exactly like the silver & bronze age realization of the fictional Cimmerian of Robert E. Howard's original pulp stories that many Frank Frazetta paperback book covers and Marvel Comics introduced us to in the 60's and 70's, but that is exactly what was wrong with the guys currently tanking movie. The filmmakers opted for appearance over substance.
Before I get down to brass tacks, let me emphasize that the "look" of the film is phenomenal. I totally bought the Hyborean Age depicted in director Marcus Nispel's film, the CGI work is terrific and at least in this respect, this version is better than Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 1982. One terrific aspect of this flick is that Conan roams throughout his world through lots of ruins, and this helped create the impression that even ages ago entire kingdoms had come and gone by the time the wandering barbarian was beginning to conquer his world. Nice touch!
So to the scriptwriter who laments that his written characterizations got remaindered on the cutting room floor, I say, “Listen, stupid! Adapt any one of Howard’s original stories to film and quit dicking around.” Roy Thomas understood this when he spearheaded Conan for Marvel many years ago to great effect. Don’t reinvent the wheel here; it isn’t broken. Pulp fiction is full of simple character moments, but its best when wrapped around high-adventure thrills and bloodcurdling excitement. If Conan the Barbarian somehow manages to merit a Green Lantern-style studio reprieve and gets greenlighted for a sequel, bring the new look of the Hyborean age and Jason Momoa to a more skilled director and competent screenplay doctor. This isn't supposed to be Academy Award filmmaking, just satisfying summer popcorn fare. Leave the metro-sexual melodrama in the editing room instead!