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An Appeal To Paradox

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#1 Mark Finn

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:04 PM

FORUM MEMBERS: Please politely sign below if you agree with this letter.


There is an old Jewish saying: "If three people tell you you're drunk, lie down." The meaning, of course, is that there is wisdom in crowds. You cannot have missed the online eruptions that have taken place in the past two weeks with the leaking of the casting considerations for the Conan movie, nor the plot synopsis that just hit the boards.

I do not write this post lightly, nor do I write it tongue in cheek. I am sincerely, urgently asking you to scrap your current plans for the Conan movie and please start over. I know there is considerable economic pressure to pay back investors and companies, and the conventional wisdom in Hollywood is to play it safe. I can understand that, but if you produce a Conan movie such as we've seen snippets of online, you will destroy any credibility that the last ten years of publishing and scholarship have so carefully and precariously built up.

It's probably inevitable that some changes would occur from printed page to silver screen, but what we're all currently looking at bears absolutely no resemblance to Conan as he's been defined in fiction, and to be honest, this strays pretty far afield from even the first Conan movie, too.

My recommendations (and I make them in the hopes that you want a viable franchise that you can build on over time):

1. Stop the current production.

2. Get an REH expert in the same room with the scriptwriters. Have them read the books and instruct them that the Conan stories will serve as the building blocks for the movie, and nothing else.

3. Use this film as a chance to reinvent the pop cultural idea of Conan.

Look at Casino Royale. Batman Begins. Pirates of the Carribean. All of these films took dead characters, dead franchises, and dead genres and reinvigorated them by not playing it safe. Even fans of Conan the Barbarian don't want a rehash of that. We are twenty years older now, and we need something more sophisticated. Bryan Singer learned that the hard way with Superman Returns. This can NOT be a nostalgia project.

We are counting on you. All of us fans have supported your efforts in the past. We have beat the drum and we have consumed and we have become advocates and evangelists for this company because we believed you when you told us you were going to take care of these properties. All I'm asking for now is that you listen to us and trust our opinions on this matter.
Mark Finn
Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard
Second Edition now available from the Robert E. Howard Foundation Press

Finn's Home Away From Home, REDUX!

#2 Waldgeist



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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:21 PM

I wholeheartedly agree, though I fear there is no going back now. We chanted our disagreement with the leaked script as early as October 08 and nothing was changed.

I'd like to add the concern, that a movie with such a flat and lackluster written story has no chance in todays cinema environment, when the biggest blockbusters like The Dark Knight have layers of ethics and a carefully crafted backstory driving their success.

The cinema audience has grown up and is ready for the REAL Howard.


Edited by Waldgeist, 05 November 2009 - 09:35 PM.

Let us show them our hearts and then show them theirs!

#3 wulfhere



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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:28 PM

I don't expect anything to come of it but if the casting call and plot synopsis are indeed accurate then this project should be killed.

Better to have no Conan movie that to have that movie polluting the reputations of Conan and Robert E. Howard.

#4 Kortoso


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:32 PM

I am with you, Mark.

#5 Crom


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 09:59 PM

As Mark said, please politely add your name to this petition if you agree with it. Save the rants for the Conan Characters Revealed for Conan Movie thread.

Thank you,

BTW, I agree.

#6 Reaver


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:04 PM

Agreed and signed.

#7 amster


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:07 PM

Agreed. 100%.
Posted Image
Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#8 Crom's bells

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:14 PM

/signed. Will write a longer post later when I've got more time.

#9 terryallenuk


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:25 PM

Add`me to the list.


The Robert E Howard Comics Group is dedicated to the characters created by Robert E Howard that have appeared in comic book form from Marvel Comics , Dark Horse Comics , BOOM Studios, Cross Plains Comics , Dynamite Entertainment etc.





#10 Axerules


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:28 PM

For what it's worth, I agree, though I believe it will not change anything. Keep in mind that CPI has probably not the final say on this project.
Mark, I think you'd better mail your petition to an executive of Nu/Lionsgate, like the infamous Avi Lerner.
Take arrows in your forehead, but never in your back

Samurai maxim

#11 korak


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:33 PM

What Mark said. He's right dead-on the money.

Signed, Steve Allsup

#12 Moonlight Shadow

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:35 PM

After more than a year of lurking I've registered on this forum to sign this petition.

#13 norse_sage



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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:15 PM


#14 deuce


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:18 PM

Count me in as well.

Deuce Richardson

Support the Robert E. Howard Foundation. It helps you and Robert E. Howard's legacy.

#15 mithras


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:19 PM

I support Mark's petition emphatically.


#16 Evil Thoth-Amon

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:25 PM

Agree, of course.
The natural state of mankind is slavery. The only question is who commands and who obeys...

#17 monk


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:27 PM

I felt like I wrote that letter myself.

Shi Hengfa
"I live, I BURN WITH LIFE, I love, I slay, and am content."
"Here's to brother Painbrush, we drink to his Shade..."
"All Art Is Martial"- RZA

"Our basic purist premise:
In essence, we believe that the work of any creative artist -- writer, painter, illustrator, musician, what-have-you -- is a unique expression of an artistic point of view. It should not be appropriated or altered by others without the artist's consent. No other writer has Robert E. Howard's unique point of view, and no other writer knows what Howard would have done with his character had he lived. Upon his death, his canon, the expression of his artistic vision, became fixed. Tampering with it now is desecration."

#18 300spartans


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:38 PM

I fully AGREE :rolleyes: you have my vote!

#19 Amra


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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:43 PM

Agreed! I am going to add Mark's post to my site. I can take it down if requested Mark. At this point, any exposure to it can only help.

Signed: Curry Roberts

Edited by Amra, 06 November 2009 - 03:01 AM.

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REH-A Witch Shall Be Born - Amra The Lion.com

#20 nephron



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Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:04 AM

Consider me a signer.

Edited by Crom's Justiciar, 06 November 2009 - 01:43 AM.