Netflix’s next ambitious television project will be a series adaptation of Conan the Barbarian. The iconic character was created by Robert E. Howard in 1932, and has been the basis for two Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, a 2011 movie starring Jason Momoa and a short-lived 1990s TV series. The new project still does not have a writer or showrunner, but Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler are serving as executive producers.
The project comes from Malmberg and Wheeler’s Pathfinder Media, reports Deadline. It is part of a deal between Netflix and Conan Properties International, which is owned by Malmberg’s Cabinet Entertainment. The deal will allow Netflix to develop other Conan projects, including live-action and animated movies and shows. The streamer will also have access to the full Conan literary library to pull stories from.
Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, or Conan the Cimmerian, debuted in a 1932 issue of Weird Tales magazine. The stories inspired the Sword and Sorcery genre. The franchise has grown to include 100 novels, video games, thousands of issues of comic books, toys, and two animated series. In 2018, a Conan series was in the works at Amazon, although it never materialized.
The most prominent Conan projects are the three movies. The 1982 film Conan the Barbarian starring Schwarzenegger played an important part in turning him into an action superstar, coming two years before he starred in The Terminator. In 1984, Schwarzenegger starred in the sequel, Conan the Destroyer. In 2011, there was an attempt to revive interest in the character with a reboot starring Momoa, but the film was a box office bomb and received poor reviews. Malmberg was a producer on the 2011 version. The franchise also inspired the 1992-1994 animated shows Conan the Adventurer and Conan and the Young Warriors and the 1997 Conan the Adventurer TV series staring Ralf Moller.
Netflix has been busy making production decisions at the start of October. Cobra Kai was renewed for a fourth season before Season 3 even debuts, while F is for Family was renewed for a fifth and final season. On Monday, the streamer announced GLOW was canceled, and the planned fourth season will not be produced at all due to the coronavirus pandemic delaying production. It was reported that the show’s large cast and high costs played a role in the decision. The show was renewed for a fourth season in September 2019.