Monday, January 25, 2010


No, I'm not talking about the red-haired late-night talk show host.

Robert E. Howard's immortal creation Conan the Barbarian, has been adapted by Marvel Comics among others, and in the early 80's had two movies made about him starring Arnold Schwarzeneggar (yes, there were two, although I can understand completely if you've forgotten the second. I try to). He has also been played on television by Schwarzeneggar wannabe Rolf Mueller. (Actually that's unfair. Mueller was a good actor in his own right. Didn't you see him in GLADIATOR?). Now he will be played on screen again in Marcus Nispei's (PATHFINDER) new film version by Hawaiian born actor Jason Momoa.

Momoa will be familiar to Stargate fans as Ronan Dax from Stargate Atlantis.

Allready comments on various blogs have been turning towards the negative, but I am pleased for once. I enjoyed Stargate Atlantis and particularly appreciated Momoa's presence in the show. Over the course of four seasons Momoa was able to display a depth that I think will surprise people.

If Nispei is trying to bring the character of Conan back to his roots, as he says that he is, then Momoa is entirely appropriate for that role. Conan is not the oafish, teutonic bodybuilder that the Arnold version would have you believe. That Conan was Howard filtered through Lin Carter and L. Sprague DeCamp, filtered through Roy Thomas and Marvel Comics, then filtered again through the film's director John Boorman Milius.

And Frazetta. As much as I loved Frazetta's depiction of Conan (and who doesn't) it is not truly Howard's character.

I am usually very sceptical of movie adaptations and I have been disappointed enough to justify that scepticism. I'm still not convinced that this movie will be completely faithful to Howard, nor would Momoa be my first choice (mine would have been English actor Ray Stephenson). Nevertheless I am pleased that Momoa has been tapped for the part and will go and see the movie with just a little bit less trepidation now.

I've been here and there. I've drawn a lot of pictures. I've written a bit, too. I'm not good at this self-promotion thing. Look, you want to know about me? just visit these websites. Okay?


Josh Reynolds said...

See, I'd like to see Stephenson play El Borak. An American gunslinger wandering through Afghanistan at the height of the Great Game? That'd be sweeet.

As far as Momoa goes, better a guy who looks like he can swing a sword as opposed to the pretty boys attached to the project initially. Dude's actually got some muscle mass, y'know?

M. D. Jackson said...

Stephenson would be a fine El Borak.

Actually my first choice for a part for Jason Momoa would have been Doc Savage. Shave him, cut his hair and dye it bronze, that might work.

But Conan's good.

Old guy said...

"then filtered again through the film's director John Boorman"

John BOORMAN ??? The first Conan movie was by John MILIUS!!

M. D. Jackson said...

You're quite right, Old Guy! Dumb mistake on my part but nobody else caught it either, and this post has been up since January 2010!

So, you win a virtual prize! (That is -- it's imaginary.) Hope you enjoy it!

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