A while back we heard that the guys over at Nu Image / Millennium Films were planning to resurrect Conan the Barbarian for a new action franchise, and now comes word from Variety that the project(s) may be moving ahead a little more expeditiously these days. First off, the producers have teamed up with Lionsgate for North American distribution of the new Conan movies -- and secondly, it looks like the production company might be making a separate deal with the WGA -- sort of like United Artists just did.

From Variety: "Pic is earmarked to begin production later this year, but the start date will depend on the resolution of the writers strike. Nu Image/Millennium chief Avi Lerner confirmed that he is in discussions to make a WGA deal akin to those brokered with United Artists and the Weinstein Co. Such a pact would speed up the process."

Although no director has been tapped yet, a screenwriting team has been hired for the first new Conan flick. And those writers are Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, also known as the guys who tried to adapt Clive Cussler's Sahara and Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder -- and failed pretty convincingly.

Flick fans will no doubt recall that the legendary Robert E. Howard character was brought to cinematic life back in 1982 (John Milius' Conan the Barbarian) and then again in 1984 (Richard Fleischer's Conan the Destroyer). He was supposed to appear alongside Red Sonja, but there were some rights issues, so in that flick Arnold Schwarzengger was playing a barbarian called "Calidor." Anyway, yeah: New Conan. Could be fun.
categories Movies, Cinematical