The Newcomer's Guide to Robert E. Howard

Everything you need to know

Conan the Barbarian (2011): A New Cimmerian

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So who’s playing Conan?

Jason Momoa. Even now, a number of websites erroneously claim Kellan Lutz or Roland Kickinger is the “front runner” for the role, and some even claim them to have won it, despite the fact that principal photography for Conan ended in May.

Isn’t Jason Momoa black?

No. Jason Momoa is of mixed ancestry: his father is Native Hawaiian, while his mother is German/Irish/Native American. Don’t let the dreadlocks and goatee on Stargate Atlantis fool you: production photos reveal a barbarian not unlike Howard’s own descriptions.

Well, if they couldn’t get Arnold, why didn’t they cast Roland Kickinger, The Rock, Triple H, or another body-builder or wrestler?

The role of Howard’s Conan is a good deal more complex than the popular conception of the “big dumb barbarian” stereotype. Conan is cunning, intelligent, knowledgeable and emotive. Arnold, while underrated as an actor (he won a Golden Globe for his first major acting role in Stay Hungry) was still inexperienced and raw: combined with Milius and Stone’s hugely divergent character rewrite, the Conan of Conan the Barbarian was very different from the character Howard created.

Conan in Conan the Barbarian was many things, but he was at least crafty, resourceful and given to moments of refreshing insight. By the time of Conan the Destroyer, however, he was reduced to an insulting caricature, a stupid barbarian who cannot count to six or make decisions without a full five seconds to consider it.

Besides, Momoa’s pretty buff in the role:

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Written by alharron

23 December, 2010 at 12:24 am

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