Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain have been hired to rework the script for Conan for Lionsgate.
The writing team’s action-adventure screenplay Amazon, an epic about female warriors to which Scarlett Johansson has been attached, is sailing out of turnaround toward Lionsgate as well, with Neal Moritz and his Original Film coming on to produce once the deal is completed.
The Hollywood Reporter says director searches are under way for both.
CEO and president of Paradox Entertainment Fredrik Malmberg is producing the Conan feature along with Boaz Davidson, Joe Gatta and Avi Lerner of Millennium Films.
Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara) wrote earlier drafts of the film, a potential resurrection of the classic warrior created by Robert E. Howard. In 1982, Oliver Stone and John Milius wrote an adaptation, which Milius also directed, that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The writers have gone back to Howard’s original stories to create a $100 million R-rated origin film, the largest production to date for Lionsgate and Millennium.
“Fans expect (these types of movies) to be more true to the source material,” Malmberg said. “There’s no reason there couldn’t be a Conan movie every two years. He’s almost like Batman: He’s a dark hero. He’s a hard hero. He has to be badass, but we also have to like him.”