A few days ago, the Robert E. Howard scholar Patrice Louinet got to speak with Fredrik Malmberg, Paradox Entertainment CEO and Conan producer. He was also shown a large number of pics taken from the movie. He gladly accepted to answer some Fantasy.fr questions.
Patrice Louinet: You have to understand that there is a lot I am not at liberty to divulge, but among other things I was quite impressed by an oriental scene that had very vivid colors. I got to see several scenes set in Cimmeria and all showed a snow-covered country. When I mentioned to Fredrik that Howard's Cimmeria was supposed to be an overcast, greyish hill country, he was quick to assure me there are "tons of bleak, grey, rainy Cimmerian shots" in the movie, or words to that effect. Just my luck, I only got to see the snow-covered ones! Otherwise, the costumes are very realistic, they don’t look cheap of kitsch.
Patrice Louinet: I have to say that some of the things I saw were positive : Momoa’s Conan seems to me a lot like Howard’s, but I have already said that. Here again, I am only commenting on his looks, I don’t know anything as to his acting capacities. And while I am at it, the only CGI on Momoa will be to change the color of his eyes. I am also happy to report there won’t be any « Wheel of Pain », as in Milius’ movie! From what I saw, you can also expect some frontal nudity. One huge Bulgarian guy playing one of the baddies seems to come right out of a Turanian den.
Fredrik Malmberg told me that Ron Perlman was a longtime fan of the Howard's short stories, who had Leo Howard – who plays young Conan – read the stories. Seems almost everyone is reading Howard on the set. Even Stephen Lang! Malmberg also told me he did insist (and won his case) that Conan’s name should be stressed on the first syllable, the way Howard did, and not like the usual American Co-NAN.By the way, Momoa seems quite taken with his role. I remember a pic taken at lunch time where everybody’s eating but him: he’s training with his sword. It’s of course good news, but how – or even if – that will show on the screen remains to be seen. This being said, I won’t delude myself into thinking this movie is going to be faithful to Howard, not by a long shot. I greatly fear to discover what’s in the final script.
Patrice Louinet: I can do better than that. Your article caused quite a buzz and it seems the producers have decided to show official pictures well before July’s end.
Patrice Louinet: I can tell only tell you that it won’t be rock music (as in "300" or "Clash of the Titans".) It won’t be a Poledouris 2 either.
Patrice Louinet: Should be the first week of June.
Patrice Louinet: Autumn 2011 is the date.
Patrice Louinet: It will be a little under 2 hours long.