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Casting Kull and Conan
What Actor Would You Cast to Play the Iconic Barbarian Usurpers?


Two Conans have already been cast in film as well as at least one TV casting, which I have not viewed. This is a hard part to cast as actors tend to be smaller than non-actors, especially smaller than athletes and all of Howard’s characters were athletes. Kull is certainly the Conan prototype and was cast in a TV movie, which was very bad and starred a TV Hercules.

Many artists in comic and on book cover art, have done Conan and one him well. The two most prominent efforts were by Boris Valejo, who employed bodybuilders as models and whose art had much of the pose about it, and Frank Frazetta, who seemed to have painted form his mind’s eye, presenting a darker, wilder more menacing Conan, best exemplified by his painting Rogues in the House..

https://jameslafond.blogspot.com/2018/12/casting-kull-and-conan.html

https://jameslafond.blogspot.com/

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Mike_CDecember 13, 2018 4:49 PM UTC

It's been a very long time since I saw Arnold/Conan I, but if I recall, the opening premise was that child Conan was captured in some sort of raid, enslaved, and set to work as a human ox pushing that gristmill (or whatever) for years. The labor made him hugely muscular, which caught the eye of a gladiator trainer or something like that. And it was the slavemaster/trainer who taught him that Genghis Khan-ish quote.

That growing up as a slave thing completely negates the basic premise of Howard's Conan as an idealized barbarian unsullied by the corruption of civilization. (If I recall, Conan's first real encounter with the civilized Hyborians was at age 15 when he fought in the sack of Venarium.) Howard's Cimmerians are technologically primitive, but they are also the free folk, who would unhesitatingly choose death over subjugation.

Personally, my belief is that slavery beginning in childhood will do things to a man's character, thought processes, behaviors—soul if you will—that are forever inimical to self-ordered liberty thereafter, even if he is freed. Basically, it fucks you up, and in many key areas you can never be unfucked. There are a lot of unpleasant implications that follow from this, including what Nietzsche said about all of us being domesticated by society, and what I privately call eternal victim mentality (EVM).

IMNSHO the real problem with EVM is that, by viewing yourself/your people as victims, ANYTHING you do can be rationalized as "revenge", "getting back" and therefore righteous. A remarkably unsuccessful ethnic group in the US uses this (or their apologists use it) to justify outrageous amounts of violent crime, antisocial behavior, plain stupid behavior, and general dysfunction. Another, wildly successful, group uses this to justify both economic depredations on society as a whole, and to gnaw away at the logic, order, decency and morality that are the philosophical underpinnings of Western culture. (Níðhöggr eternally eats away the roots of Yggdrasil.)

Two final thoughts. 1) Of course, not ALL of group X are like that (NAXALT). 2) To specify anything about these groups is socially unacceptable in these (not so) United States, and literally illegal in places such as France.
responds:December 13, 2018 6:37 PM UTC

I must use this as an article starter to be posted soon.
Bruno DiasDecember 12, 2018 5:34 PM UTC

Hey James, why you don't like Arnold's Conan movies. Ok, the second one totally sucks, but i think the first one is amazing.

The Momoa movie is better in capturing the essence of the character, as well as the Howard atmosphere.

But Arnold's movie, in my opinion, offers a different side of the character.
responds:December 13, 2018 1:15 AM UTC

Conan the Barbarian was an excellent movie, a masterpiece of its kind, but really had nothing to do with Robert E. Howard's character or story setting. The movie was the work of John Milus and did effectively make a frightening fantasy setting of Milus' invention, not Howard's. What's more, Howard would have probably liked the movie a lot.

It is actually more of a Kull movie, with the prime villain being Thulsa Doom and also the presence of sidekick characters. Valeria was cobbled together from 4 female Howard Characters.