Amazon Studios is developing a new Conan the Barbarian TV series with Colony creator Ryan Condal, Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik and The Handmaid's Tale and Fargo producer Warren Littelfield. Ryan Condal will create the show and write the pilot script, while serving as an executive producer with Miguel Sapochnik, who is directing the pilot episode, and Warren Littlefield. Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler are also serving as executive producers through their Pathfinder Media company, with Endeavor Content acting as the studio.
The story is said to take Conan the Barbarian back to the character's literary roots, re-telling the classic fantasy tale. The show will follow the title character after he is driven from his tribal homeland, as he wanders a mysterious and treacherous world while searching for meaning and purpose, in a civilization that has already branded him as a mindless savage. The iconic character was first created by Robert E. Howard in 1932, appearing in Weird Tales magazine. Howard wrote 17 Conan stories between 1932 and 1936, the year he died at the age of 30 from commiting suicide. The series would continue on for decades through numerous other writers, but it seems this series will follow the original Howard stories.
Writer Ryan Condal admitted to being "obsessed" with the Conan the Barbarian stories, while director Miguel Sapochnik also admitted to an obsession with these original Conan stories, which lead to their collaboration. Their goal is produce a new series that is faithful to the spirit of Robert E. Howard's original stories. Given Miguel Sapochnik's involvement, who won an Emmy Award for his action-packed Game of Thrones Season 6 episode The Battle of the Bastards, it remains to be seen if Amazon will be going for a tone similar to Game of Thrones, but it wouldn't be surprising.
This series is the latest effort in Amazon's big push into genre programming, with Amazon recently shelling out the big bucks for a Lord of the Rings TV series, which some are predicting could cost Amazon $1 billion. Amazon is also moving into action programming with the release of their highly-anticipated Jack Ryan series this August, starring John Krasinski as the title character. Amazon also recently picked up a Starsky & Hutch reboot that James Gunn is writing with his brothers Mark Gunn and Brian Gunn.
The Conan the Barbarian is best known on the big screen, with Arnold Schwarzengger playing the iconic title in the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian and its 1984 follow-up Conan the Destroyer, while Jason Momoa took over as the character for the 2011 reboot of Conan the Barbarian, which debuted the same year he played Khal Drogo in the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones. There has been talk over the years of a new movie called Legend of Conan, which is slated to bring back Arnold Schwarzenegger as an aging king, but there has been no progress on that project lately. Deadline broke the news on the Amazon series earlier today.