Move over, Arnold, there’s a new Conan in town. Deadline Hollywood reports that Jason Momoa of Stargate Atlantis fame will play Robert E. Howard’s Cimmerian anti-hero, Conan, in Marcus Nispel’s rebooting of the film franchise.
Produced by Lionsgate, the upcoming film promises to be more faithful to Howard’s stories than the previous movies starring Schwarzenegger. So far Momoa is the only official cast member, but, according to Latino Review, Mickey Rourke is in talks to play Conan’s father.
Momoa’s casting has brought about some controversy on the Internet. Many posters on Superherohype’s message boards have complained about his dark complexion. One particularly witty writer dubbed him “Bronan the Barbarian” and another simply wrote “He doesn’t look like Arnold?!?” The idea of a “black” Conan–despite the fact that Momoa is Hawaiian and not African American–seems to be very upsetting to some, reminding me of the uproar over Michael Clarke Duncan’s casting as The Kingpin in Daredevil.
Now, I never watched Stargate Atlantis, so I can’t speak for the man’s acting, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of a doubt. Also, Momoa does look much more like Conan as described by Howard than Arnold ever did. I’m not saying that Momoa is the right casting choice, but it’s unfair to the man to make snap decisions based on his ethnicity.
Right now Lionsgate has not set a release date for this reboot. I hope that it will be good, because as much as I enjoy the Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, I’d like to see the Conan I grew up reading. So, what do you think about this casting? Does Momoa have the chops to pull off Howard’s dark, brooding character?
Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Conan, Jason Momoa, Mickey Rourke