Tuesday, January 15, 2013

80's Kids: 'Ninja Turtles' And 'Conan' Move Forward With Production!


My initial plan was simply to post about the production updates for "Ninja Turtles", but as I came across this update for "The Legend of Conan", I thought my 80's brethren might appreciate hearing some updates on this franchise as well. The former doesn't provide many updates outside of a rough timetable for initial shooting, though any Turtles fan will surely be happy enough to know that, at this point, filming is at least progressing. Conan, on the other hand, has some great new details to provide on what type of story will be told. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in the original "Conan the Barbarian" and will again appear in "The Legend of Conan", recently weighed in on some specifics of the story, all of which got me rather excited for what's ahead!

After the break I'll touch on the details of each, including when both might be expected in theaters.

I'll start with the Ninja Turtles news, as that more closely tugs at my nostalgic heartstrings. It's no secret the controversies Michael Bay stirred up last spring when he attached himself as Producer of the next Ninja Turtles adaptation. Love him or hate him, Turtles purists were upset with allegations that the turtles might not even be mutant in his telling, instead space aliens. Bay fired back at us fans, demanding we refrain on judgement until more developments unfold. I heeded his advice and have been waiting patiently ever since. Unfortunately, it still looks like the Ninja Turtles we'll next see on screen will be aliens, but at least we now have a better idea of when to expect them.

Production Weekly is reporting that principle photography is set to begin in New York this April. That's only three months away, which means if the studio plans to hold to their May 2014 release date, production will surely be pushed to the wire. With things set to roll now in a matter of months, we can expect to hear casting selections and hopefully style concepts relatively soon. For now, we know that Michael Bay is producing and Jonathan Liebesman ("Battle Los Angeles") is directing. Hopefully more encouraging news is soon to come!

Next, we have a few quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger and producer Frederik Malmberg on the latest developments for "The Legend of Conan". I'll start with Malmberg's, as his words more clearly define the storyline we can expect ahead:

"The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make. It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle."
And here's a transcript from Schwarzenegger outlining how this character was developed and what needs to be done in order for this to be successful:
"[Universal] finally came forward... and said, 'You're absolutely right. The previous regime has missed the boat here. We want to pick it up. We're going to buy the rights and we're going to be serious about it and make a quality film with an A-director and with A-writers and so on. And we want you to participate in this. We want you to star and you to play Conan. We're going to take a story where Conan is at that age so it's totally believable and you're not looking like a 30-year old action guy."
That excerpt was taken from a video clip featuring Arnold at a press event for "The Last Stand". The full video is below, which also outlines possible production plans for the end of this year. If that were to happen and the film stuck to schedule, Conan might be ready for theaters sometime in 2015.



All of that being said, I obviously lean more towards the Ninja Turtle news, but the Conan updates give me hope there, too. I'm looking forward to both of these projects at this point, and hope they both end up being successful. On which are you most anxiously awaiting further updates?