Conan the Barbarian is one of the most storied and celebrated fantasy franchises of all time. Fans have been wondering what new incarnation the series would take after a disappointing feature film back in 2011. Finally, an official announcement has been made and the legendary warrior is headed to everyone’s favorite streaming platform, Netflix.
A Conan the Barbarian series is in development after a new deal has been struck with the owners of the Conan literary library. As reported by Ethan Anderton over at Slashfilm, “the deal will allow Netflix to make TV shows and movies based on Conan, both in live-action and animation.” Exactly how much of this is being immediately developed isn’t clear, but we do know that the Conan the Barbarian television series is the main priority.
It has been tough out there for fans of Robert E. Howard’s fantasy character. While the character has flourished in media like comic books and video games, the quest for a good cinematic Conan has been rough. As previously stated, the 2011 film starring Jason Momoa was an enormous letdown. Before that, there were a number of television series that all failed to capture the magic of Howard’s sword and sorcery universe.
Most audiences are familiar with Conan the Barbarian through the excellent 1982 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Directed by John Milius and written by Milius and Oliver Stone, the fantasy film was a huge success at the box office and on home video. The sequel, Conan the Destroyer, did not fare so well in either department. A third Conan movie starring Schwarzenegger, dubbed The Legend of Conan, was in development for many years before finally falling by the wayside.
It is surprising that it has taken this long to get a new Conan the Barbarian project off the ground. With the popularity of other fantasy shows like Game of Thrones and Netflix’s own The Witcher taking off, it seems like audiences are primed for a new adventure with the highly influential fantasy figure. Will they be interested in a character like Conan after all these years?
What is especially intriguing is that this new deal allows Netflix to produce multiple Conan the Barbarian projects in various forms. Will they all be tied to the eventual TV series and its established canon? Or will there be a variety of different Conan projects on the streaming platform? If they do end up making an animated Conan series, we would like to nominate Genndy Tartakovsky to run it. His work on the incredible show Primal is basically a Conan cartoon already. It would be great to see someone with his talents get to play with the weirder, more magical elements of the Conan universe.
It will probably be a while before we hear the next big development with this Conan the Barbarian Netflix series. The streaming giant is right in the middle of shooting the second season of The Witcher and they even have a prequel to that series in the works. It is going to take some time to formulate exactly what this new Conan the Barbarian series will be. Once we hear the next official announcement on its progress, we will be more than happy to let you know.