Weeks after Warner Bros. lost the rights to Conan the Barbarian, New Line has moved into prime position to make a movie based on Robert E. Howard’s mythical conqueror, reports Variety.
After posting a bid of mid-six against seven figures for an 18-month option with one extension, the studio entered into negotiations after CAA staged an auction for rights holder Paradox Entertainment.
Reinventing Conan didn’t come easy for WB, which spent the last seven years trying for a film that veered from the testosterone-laced beefcake fests that launched Arnold Schwarzenegger to something more reverential toward Howard’s original pulp novels.
Larry and Andy Wachowski, John Milius (who directed the original and wrote the script with Oliver Stone) and Robert Rodriguez took turns developing it. Rodriguez got closest but left the project for Grindhouse. Boaz Yakin was hired last year to start again.
If New Line makes the deal, the studio will have to start from scratch, as Warners owns the various drafts it developed.