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Interview With Fred Malmberg, Paradox Entertainment


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#1 matsellah

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 05:11 AM

Original Source

This story was posted on 28 March, and I haven't seen it anywhere else on the board... but, if I overlooked it, my apologies to anyone who has already posted it.

The article is published in Swedish, but a gentlemen over at IMDB was kind enough to translate and I'm posting that translation as follows:

Fredrik Malmberg, CEO of Paradox Entertainment who owns all the rights to REHs works, was interviewed today regarding the business and inevitably Conan.

Here is the most relevant points to this movie:

Q: When is the new Conan movie planed to have its premi?re? How big will the budget be?

Fredrik Malmberg: The scriptwriters three month strike caused a small delay of the scriptwork, but the development in all other areas continued unhindered. We just got the first version of the script, and is now working over a details with the authors. At the moment are goal is to start filming in 2008 for a 2009 premi?re. The budget will likely be around 100 MUSD.

Q: Are there any candidates for the main part?

Fredrik Malmberg: We have just hired a casting director to help us get the right actor. In all our work with Conan in all product categories, not just the movie, we strive to be true to the creator and original author Robert E. Howards description of Conan. He shall of course have an impressive physique but not be a bodybuilder. We are looking for someone with acting talent and not just big muscles. We are furthermore looking for a new face, someone who hasn't already had a big breakthrough, to avoid comparison to earlier roles.

Encouragingly he states getting the Conan movie into production as one of the company?s three top goals:

- To ensure the start of production for the new Conan movie. It has been frustrating since nothing happened for several years at our former licence proprietor (Warner Bros). In the course of the six month since we made a deal with Millennium Films more has happened than during the six years before that.

For REH-fans the second goal sounds even better:

- To get started more projects this year, both from our own library of rights and from externals, with development both internally and in cooperation with others. Robert E. Howard wrote around 800 stories and his writing style fits development toward entertainment vert well - many of his stories are almost like finished scripts, ready to use.

That last sentence is just fantastic. (FYI the last goal of the three had to do with the financial side of the business).

Other than this on the Conan front Malmberg talks a bit about the expectations for Funcom?s new online computer game, Age of Conan. He informs us that THQ has an option to make movie tie-in game for Conan.

I guess the most important non Conan info is a figure for the budget of Solomon Kane - 40 MUSD.

Hope you guys (and girls of course) find this interesting.

Gulbrand


Link to IMDB Message Board (registration required)

Edited by matsellah, 01 April 2008 - 05:13 AM.

"Their present king is the most renowned warrior among the western nations. He is an outlander, an adventurer who seized the crown by force during a time of civil strife, strangling King Namedides with his own hands, upon the very throne. His name is Conan, and no man can stand before him in battle." ~ Orastes, 'The Hour Of The Dragon'

"Damned degenerates!" ~ Conan 'Xuthal Of The Dusk'

#2 Kortoso

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for providing this.

#3 Shadizar46

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 02:27 AM

Interesting to note that he said that they just got the first version of the script and that they are trying to stay true to Howard's version of Conan. Should we take that as this movie is going to be an actual story, "The Hour of the Dragon," "The Tower of the Elephant," etc.? OR Should we assume that they are coming up with their own unique script that is true to the spirit of Howard's Conan?

I would hope that if they came up with their own original script that they would include certain parts of Howard's Conan that would be crucial for non Howard fans to understand the psyche of Conan such as showing early scenes of Conan being born on a battlefield and some of his childhood life in Cimmeria.

I would worry about casting someone who is an excellent actor and could portray our favorite Cimmerian's moods and mannerisms before I would worry about the physique. Physiques can be made with Hollywood training (see Thomas Jane in the Punisher). The only thing that I am concerned with is that the actor have somewhat of a solid base to start off with due to the tight time constraints on production.
"He grunted with satisfaction. The feel of the hilt cheered him and gave him a glow of confidence. Whatever webs of conspiracy were drawn about him, whatever trickery and treachery ensnared him, this knife was real. The great muscles of his right arm swelled in anticipation of murderous blows." --The Hour of the Dragon

#4 Xaltotun

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:00 PM

The schedule sounds unrealistic. Shooting one year and releasing the very next sounds hasty. A big-budget picture, with good special effects takes longer, (unless they're using Brythunian slave labour).

#5 matsellah

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:47 AM

Interesting to note that he said that they just got the first version of the script and that they are trying to stay true to Howard's version of Conan. Should we take that as this movie is going to be an actual story, "The Hour of the Dragon," "The Tower of the Elephant," etc.? OR Should we assume that they are coming up with their own unique script that is true to the spirit of Howard's Conan?

I would hope that if they came up with their own original script that they would include certain parts of Howard's Conan that would be crucial for non Howard fans to understand the psyche of Conan such as showing early scenes of Conan being born on a battlefield and some of his childhood life in Cimmeria.

I would worry about casting someone who is an excellent actor and could portray our favorite Cimmerian's moods and mannerisms before I would worry about the physique. Physiques can be made with Hollywood training (see Thomas Jane in the Punisher). The only thing that I am concerned with is that the actor have somewhat of a solid base to start off with due to the tight time constraints on production.


Interesting question. Probably one that could be presented in the Questions for CPI thread.
"Their present king is the most renowned warrior among the western nations. He is an outlander, an adventurer who seized the crown by force during a time of civil strife, strangling King Namedides with his own hands, upon the very throne. His name is Conan, and no man can stand before him in battle." ~ Orastes, 'The Hour Of The Dragon'

"Damned degenerates!" ~ Conan 'Xuthal Of The Dusk'

#6 nomadic

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 05:27 AM

The schedule sounds unrealistic. Shooting one year and releasing the very next sounds hasty. A big-budget picture, with good special effects takes longer, (unless they're using Brythunian slave labour).


Compared to most films in this genre there really shouldn't be a lot FX to deal with. Not one of the stories has anything like a major FX challenge. If what's been said is true and the film will be based closer to the actual stories then hopefully the film will be like the stories and not overly reliant on elaborate FX. Most live action shooting is done in a thirty day period if what I've been reading all these years is true. Pre-production and post production are the things that eat up the most time. However, since both could go smoothly given the amount of time they've been actively planning this film and the presumably little FX required two years can be plenty of time.
One can only hope everything stated is exactly how everything goes.


Rick

#7 Ironhand

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:30 AM

Any story that has a demon in it would probably require CGI. Red Nails needs CGI for the dragon. HotD might need CGI to portray huge massed armies.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#8 nomadic

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:44 PM

Any story that has a demon in it would probably require CGI. Red Nails needs CGI for the dragon. HotD might need CGI to portray huge massed armies.


Provided everything goes as was said I don't believe the film will be CGI free, but if the film is close to the books it will be quite limited. The one thing I liked about Howard's Conan stories is the way the stories did not hinge too much on magic and monsters. They were the spice, not the meat. If they adapt a story with a big battle the CGI for that will be intense but these days it's not quite as difficult to flesh these out as it was 10 years ago.
However, to see a scene filmed like the Frazetta painting "Berzerker" from "The Hour of the Dragon" would absolutely be worth the price of the ticket alone. A nice slow motion arc of the horse leaping straight into the camera, Conan's arms spread wide as he comes to the peak of that arc, his mouth roaring a challenge, eyes set in a death trance....
I can see it in my mind, but can anyone film that sequence?

Rick

#9 Cuchulain

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 05:47 PM

The schedule sounds unrealistic. Shooting one year and releasing the very next sounds hasty. A big-budget picture, with good special effects takes longer, (unless they're using Brythunian slave labour).


Compared to most films in this genre there really shouldn't be a lot FX to deal with. Not one of the stories has anything like a major FX challenge. If what's been said is true and the film will be based closer to the actual stories then hopefully the film will be like the stories and not overly reliant on elaborate FX. Most live action shooting is done in a thirty day period if what I've been reading all these years is true. Pre-production and post production are the things that eat up the most time. However, since both could go smoothly given the amount of time they've been actively planning this film and the presumably little FX required two years can be plenty of time.
One can only hope everything stated is exactly how everything goes.


Rick



A good rule of thumb is the first 90% of making a movie only takes 10% of the time. it is the last 10% that takes 90% of the time ;)

#10 cimmerianbloke

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 01:28 PM

So Warner Bros has been catching cold with the movie production? Considering they have been in the business much before I was born, I'd say they know something we don't, and they might have been right to drop the ball before loosing any more cash. These big companies are in the movie business to make money, not for the sake of art, remember...