First Look at Stephen Lang as Khalar Zym in Conan: The Barbarian and More New Pics
03.05.11 by BJSprecher
Lionsgate recently released the first theatrical poster for director Marcus Nispel's new fantasy action movie, Conan: The Barbarian, and it is an epic sound-and-motion poster depicting the title character (played by Jason Momoa) atop a mountain of skulls. Now, thanks to Empire (via ConanMovieBlog), we finally have our first look at Conan's nemesis in the movie, Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang from Avatar), the man who burned down young Conan's (Leo Howard) village, killed his family and sent the Cimmerian youth on a lifelong quest for vengeance.
Included in the April issue of Empire are several new shots of Momoa in full costume as Conan and the first look at another villain, which ConanMovieBlog speculates might be Australian actor, powerlifter and former professional wrestler Nathan Jones (Boagrius in Troy) as the mysterious character Remo. Screenwriter Joshua Oppenheimer also offered a rare explanation of why he and co-writer Thomas Dean Donnelly decided to create a new story for Conan's return to the big screen, rather than adapt one of the works by creator Robert E. Howard.
We could have stretched out a single [Howard] short story, but we opted to create a new one: one which spoke to the medium it was being created for. Our intention was to create something that fit snugly within the existing Conan mythology, which was hardly less of a challenge than making one of the original stories work within a traditional three-act structure.
And, screenwriter Sean Hood, who was subsequently brought in to rewrite the script, offered up a candid explanation of what was wrong with Oppenheimer and Donnelly's script.
Conan seemed to embrace and trumpet a higher purpose. I didn’t think that was true to his character. Some characters are compelling precisely because, despite enormous danger and pressure, they heroically refuse to change… I’m always struck by the way illustrations of H.P. Lovecraft’s monsters look so childish and cheesy, while his stories are so nightmarish. Likewise, Robert E. Howard’s writing isn’t fairly represented by a muscle-man in a loincloth with a buxom babe. There is a gravitas, a raw passion and intensity that can get completely lost.
Conan: The Barbarian also stars Ron Perlman, Bob Sapp, Rachel Nichols and Rose McGowan.