Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants Clint Eastwood To Inspire His Greatest Sequel

Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to make a Conan sequel similar to Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven.

By Chad Langen | Updated

Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan

With a career that spans decades and genres, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the powerhouse behind the unforgettable character of Conan the Barbarian, recently expressed his eagerness to return for one more film in the franchise. Should the chance arise, the Terminator star envisions his mature years as a significant plot point rather than an obstacle. According to Slash Film, he perceives another sequel utilizing his age in a manner similar to Clint Eastwood’s celebrated Western, Unforgiven.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, promoting his upcoming Netflix series FUBAR, Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed, “I think you do it like Unforgiven, where you play the age.” The classic Western, directed by Clint Eastwood, delves into the stark and brutal reality of the old American West, challenging the romanticized notion of cowboys and outlaws. The storyline centers around William Munny, brought to life by Eastwood himself, an aging former outlaw and killer who, despite having left his violent past for a peaceful life of farming, is compelled to undertake one final task.

A Conan film starring an aged Arnold Schwarzenegger has the potential to be brilliantly riveting, inviting audiences to journey with a seasoned warrior as he grapples with the weight of his past and the realities of growing older. This concept is not unfamiliar to the cinema, as evidenced by Clint Eastwood’s successful use of the age factor in many of his films, where his characters’ advanced years become integral to their complexity and the plot. Sadly, the ambiguity surrounding the ownership of the Conan franchise rights is the primary obstacle preventing the sequel from happening.

“It’s been pending for the last 10 years,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “[Fredrik] Malmberg owns the rights,” he added. “He comes to me and says, ‘Oh, I have a deal with Netflix,’ and when we ask Netflix, they don’t know anything about it.”

Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven

Hopefully, the issue surrounding the rights for the franchise will get sorted out soon, as the prospect of Arnold Schwarzenegger returning as an older, battle-worn Conan presents an opportunity for a narrative depth that could significantly reshape the series. This concept, though bold, is not without precedent; Clint Eastwood, for instance, has expertly utilized age as a narrative tool throughout his illustrious career.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, much like Clint Eastwood, has the ability to transform what could be seen as a potential weakness – age – into a strength. There’s an inherent wisdom and gravitas that come with age, traits that could lend a compelling layer to Conan’s character. Schwarzenegger himself concurs that Eastwood’s representation of the older William Munny in Unforgiven, a former gunslinger reluctantly returning to his violent history, exemplifies this perspective perfectly.

A mature Conan, crafted in the vein of Eastwood’s seasoned characters, could provide an introspective look into the character’s psyche. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of a Conan grappling with the vestiges of his violent past, much like Clint Eastwood’s Munny, could offer a unique perspective on the iconic barbarian. This isn’t just about showcasing an older hero but about embracing the character’s evolution and growth.

The iconic character last graced the silver screen in the 2011 reboot of Conan, starring Jason Momoa. An entire decade has passed since then, which, to our mind, is an excessively long hiatus. Given the character’s enduring popularity and the demand from audiences, it is unquestionably high time for the silver screen to be graced once again by the legendary exploits of Conan.