Netflix is developing a live-action series based on the Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, which were most famously dramatised in 1982’s Conan the Barbarian movie, starring Arnold Schwarzeneggar.
Deadline has reported that the project is the first fruit of a deal with Fredrik Malmberg’s Cabinet Entertainment, which owns Conan Properties International.
Netflix reportedly has the exclusive option to develop projects across TV and film, both live-action and animated, based on the Conan stories.
Conan would fit smoothly into Netflix’s habit of developing projects from already well-established literary and cinematic characters and creations: others include the Roald Dahl novels, The Chronicles of Narnia stories and Millarworld, the comic book publisher set up by Scotsman Mark Millar in 2004 and which includes Kick-Ass and War Heroes in its stable.
The Conan series could be some way off as the search has only now started for a writer and show runner to develop the project.
The sword-and-sandal stories would seem to be a good fit for the streaming network which has had incredible global success with Game of Thrones and other fantasy series such as Cursed.
Howard’s creation Conan first entered the public consciousness in 1932, with a series of stories that appeared in Weird Tales magazine.
The stories of the mythical hero inspired an entire genre of literature and, eventually, film: Sword and Sorcery. But Howard, who died aged 30, never lived to see his work establish an entire industry, producing a multitude of comic books, more than a hundred novels, three movies, two television series, video games, collectibles, toys and more around the world.
Schwarzenegger followed Conan the Barbarian with a sequel in 1984, Conan the Destroyer, while Jason Momoa starred in a reboot of Conan the Barbarian in 2011, which was produced by Malmberg.
Other adaptations of the stories include the Conan the Adventurer animated series and a spin-off, Conan and the Young Warriors, which ran from 1992-94, followed by a short-lived 1997 syndicated action-adventure series, Conan the Adventurer.