Jon Bernthal As CONAN THE BARBARIAN? Frank Darabont Would Cast Him

Frank Darabont and Jon Bernthal have been working together a lot lately. Between The Walking Dead and L.A. Noir, they are inseparable. While chatting during a recent interview Darabont talked about how he would re-imagine the Conan franchise, and that he would cast Bernthal in the lead role.

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By Jake "WaylonJones" Lester - 1/24/2013

The last attempt at a Conan movie failed miserably. It failed with both critics and at the box office, which lead actor Jason Momoa blamed on the script. Arnold Schwarzenegger has recently been confirmed to be returning to the role in Legend Of Conan. Frank Darabont was talking to io9 recently where he expressed interest in trying to rethink the character, only he wouldn't cast Arnie. "I talked to (Jon) Bernthal about that very thing just a couple of months ago. I would still do a Conan movie! It would be an incredibly smart one. Because he could play what we've missed in Conan today on the screen. He's got some wit and he's got some intelligence. He's a canny, wily, brutal guy. Bernthal could play that, he really could," he said. Darabont and Bernthal have quite a history together. It was Darabont who cast him as Shane in The Walking Dead, as well as offered him a role in his new TNT series L.A. Noir.

So just what exactly does he mean by a "smart" Conan movie? Darabont went on to explained that, "You go back to Robert E. Howard, there's a lot of heart there and a lot of mysticism and a lot of questing and yearning in that character. He also said that what Dark Horse did with their series of comics would be the smartest way to bring a movie to life.

While this probably wont happen with Schwarzenegger wanting another crack at the role, the prospect of Darabont doing a Conan film is sure to intrigue some. Sound off in the comments section below if you would like to see Darabont take a shot at a Conan movie with Bernthal as the lead. For the latest on Conan The Barbarian, make sure to check back here at CBM.

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40 Comments
KURockChalk - 1/24/2013, 6:20 AM
no
imnotwearinghockeypants - 1/24/2013, 6:27 AM
He could play Conan's left testicle.
wallhead - 1/24/2013, 6:43 AM
Shane as conan? Lol
OrsonRandall - 1/24/2013, 6:51 AM
Manu Bennett would be better
Hickspy - 1/24/2013, 7:08 AM
Can't see it after Walking Dead.

"M'ask you sum'thin. What's best in laffe?"
THEFOXMASON - 1/24/2013, 7:12 AM
Awesome Jon bernthal as conan that would be epic.
Jon Bernthal should be in everything!
An aliens spin-off called colonial marines where Jon Bernthal is the main marine would be groovey!
SWelch - 1/24/2013, 7:15 AM
Sorry people I think Jason Momoa was the perfect Conan. His portrayal was straight out of the Robert E Howard stories. Momoa would be my choice for Conan every time.

@grif

I always hated Arnold's portrayal of Conan. But in fairness it wasn't his fault. The movie had a lousy script and did nothing to capture the spirit of the original stories. Add to the fact that at the point Arnold wasn't really ready to be the lead in a movie. And it seemed to me all the other actors were told to, how do I put it, "dumb down their performance" so has not to over shadow Arnold.

Although Arnold has improved his acting skills he is not right or ever will be right for Conan.

sameoldthing - 1/24/2013, 7:19 AM
He could portray Conan if he always wore full body armor to make him look big & they used camera tricks to make him look taller.

Other than that,he's a solid actor.
KNIGHT3000 - 1/24/2013, 7:22 AM
Somebody call Momoa to kick this guys ass...
HellsHammer - 1/24/2013, 7:25 AM
I thought Arnold was coming back
plasticman - 1/24/2013, 7:26 AM
Mamoa was the perfect choice for Conan...and I agree with him. The script just wasn't there. Every Conan movie that has been made is lackluster. There needs to be a different direction taken, but leave Jason Mamoa in the role.
JasonZumwalt - 1/24/2013, 7:27 AM
YES. You clowns have most likely never even read a REH Conan book. Besides, HGH can do wonders. Now go sit in front of your mirrors, quietly apply your make up and let the grown ups talk.
AlexDeLarge87 - 1/24/2013, 7:33 AM
If he are looking for younger Conan its either Momoa or Daniel Cudmore.
AlexDeLarge87 - 1/24/2013, 7:34 AM
*we
GUNSMITH - 1/24/2013, 7:36 AM
SHANE...AS CONAN?

GUNSMITH - 1/24/2013, 7:39 AM
HE WAS GOOD...



...SCRIPT WASN'T...
AlexDeLarge87 - 1/24/2013, 7:40 AM
I vote Cudmore. Cause Momoa has the stink of that bad movie all over him now.
InfiniteMonkey - 1/24/2013, 7:54 AM
Jon Bernthal looks like a bloody idiot.
Bring back Momoa and a better script and better director.
Dedpool - 1/24/2013, 8:08 AM
I like Bernthal but Conan he is not!

@GUNSMITH - Agreed 100%!!! Momoa was perfect as Conan.
DTor91 - 1/24/2013, 8:14 AM
@OrsonRandall

Dude, I never thought of that.....he would be perfect.

And that Grif is not the real Grif is he? Whoever it is, Grif's comments here as of late has been inconsistent with what he's posted before he was banned.
BlueHawaiiSurfer - 1/24/2013, 8:15 AM
Momoa was incredibly wasted in this last movie. Use him again but actually have someone make the movie, like the article states, who knows what they are doing with the material and can dip out of the R.E.H. well. Arnold stuff is a gimmick, people constantly refer to one movie that, by today's standards, really doesn't hold up. To whoever said "his left nut"...exactly lol.
drfate - 1/24/2013, 8:18 AM
I thought that pic in the article was Mamoa...just kidding, but Jason is the only guy who can play Conan right now. He was excellent, the script could have been a lot better, but Jason should get another crack at it.

If Nick Cage could get another shot at Ghost "scrapin' at the door!" Rider, Mamoa should get another shot at Conan.
TheAntiGrif - 1/24/2013, 8:18 AM
Bernthal with a bald head just For lex luthor. His Look and acting in Walking Dead has gave me this idea
superpooper - 1/24/2013, 8:35 AM
Just watched Conan yesterday (the original). That movie still stands up 30 years later. It's a classic. Conan the Destroyer on the other hand, was complete garbage. They really dropped the ball there. I'm not seeing Bernthal as Conan. Momoa really looked the part and I had high hopes but the original is truly a hard act to follow. Arnold nailed that role so perfectly that I'm doubtful any actor will ever come along and do it justice.
valeriesghost - 1/24/2013, 8:40 AM
agreed with GUNSMITH
GodzillaKart - 1/24/2013, 8:51 AM
@Gunsmith: Right on, Man. I would like to see them do a sequel and throw that classic Conan scar across his nose.
Spartan - 1/24/2013, 8:54 AM
Frank and Jon sure have a torrid bromance going on.
siggisuperman - 1/24/2013, 9:23 AM
Manu Bennett should play Conan... Or Ares in a Marvel film
comicstocode - 1/24/2013, 9:23 AM
momoa only
TheDesertGorilla - 1/24/2013, 9:25 AM
I just looked this guy up, and he only 5'10" LOL! Jason Momoa or GTFO!
TimL - 1/24/2013, 10:02 AM
Bring back Shane
ChaosLord - 1/24/2013, 10:20 AM
On a scale of 1 to Hell Frakking No!!!!
M3T4LL0 - 1/24/2013, 10:30 AM
Momoa was friggin perfect as Conan. I liked his portrayal a lot better than I did Arnolds. Momoa nailed it too bad the script was horrible. Still not liking the idea of Arnold coming back as Conan. He's too damn old!
SWelch - 1/24/2013, 10:43 AM
@superpooper

We must have seen a different movie because the original no more holds up now as it did back then. Everything about was bad, the acting, the story, the directing and so much more.

And I'll say it again it was not Arnold fault. They picked him for the part more for how he looked than his acting abilities. It's like I have a friend when thinking of who should play a comic book character for a movie he always mentions a wrestler because they would look just like the character. And every time i have to say what about their acting abilities. That is far more important than how close they look to the character. Looks can be taken care of in make up and wardrobe but acting can't.
fistofthenorthstar - 1/24/2013, 12:25 PM
If Frank thinks so then so do I. I'm not all that hyped for Arnie to step back in. I liked Momoa's portrayal! The movie sucked but so did X-Men the Last Stand, and Jackman came back for the shytty X-Men Origins and he's back again for what I hope will be a better Logan story in The Wolverine. So why is Momoa being snubbed?
KNIGHT3000 - 1/24/2013, 2:21 PM
Momoa was born to be Conan
Metalogan - 1/24/2013, 3:27 PM
Hmmmm
I guess alot of people want to stick with Momoa but I think this is definitely arguable. As a Conan appreciater I can definitely see some pros and cons when it comes to both actors:

Jon Bernthal
vs.
Jason Momoa

Build:
JB - Semi muscular
JM - Semi-muscular

Actual Conan:
Depending on how he was drawn Conan wasn't nearly as bulky or massive as Ahnuld . JM bulked up after SG Atlantis where he was pretty lean. JB might be able to as well.

Size:
JB Average
JM Tall 6 foot something
Actual Conan: Was never given a definite height. JM has the upper hand since he's a bit taller than JB ; however, Tom Cruise is like 5'5 and they make him look taller than everyone else in films. I suppose it might lose it's sense of authenticity when it comes to making an actor look talle. But 5'10 to 6'2 isn't a total stretch. Larger fur boots may be the answer if JB did this.

Race:
JB - Caucassian
JM - Samoan

Actual conan - White - blue eyes - JB would depict a more accurate-looking conan; however , he'd have to get a little bit of a Tan. JM the Somoan is not an issue, but in some respects can be an issue for those wanting to see a more accurate depiction. Conan was described as looking Germanic. That doesn't suit Momoa.

Face:
JB - low brow , thicker jaw, flatter nose
JM - skinny jaw, lazy eye , pointier nose

Actual conan - was depicted with features that would suit JB moreso than JM . JB physically looks like a beat-up scarred conan.

Acting:
JB - top notch in both verbal and physical acting
JM - sub-par but definitely has presence with his subtle or silent acting .

Actual conan - well let's say he was a man of both words and action. Definitely a fighter and a philosopher. I think JM had the fighting down, but I giggled at the delivery of his lines in the Conan movie. JB's Shane definitely had a threatening vibe to him.

It's all what people want. If they want a Robert E. Howard accurate Conan, I think JB fits the bill. Momoa is perfect for a younger version of John Milius' Conan. But I don't think that JB should automatically be knocked because he plays shane. I also think he'd look better with a Conan mullet than Momoa.
TheDesertGorilla - 1/24/2013, 11:42 PM
"Actual conan - White - blue eyes - JB would depict a more accurate-looking conan; however , he'd have to get a little bit of a Tan. JM the Somoan is not an issue, but in some respects can be an issue for those wanting to see a more accurate depiction. Conan was described as looking Germanic. That doesn't suit Momoa."

Wrong. REH had described Conan as being brown, not white. Also, Germanic? Don't remember anything about that. But for your consideration, Momoa is half german ;) the other half being Hawaiian, not Samoan (there is a difference)

"Was never given a definite height. JM has the upper hand since he's a bit taller than JB"

REH described Conan's height being "staggeringly". And yes, he is a bit taller than JM - as in over half a foot taller than him.

All Momoa needs is to dye his hair black and don some blue eye contacts and BOOM. There'll never be a more Conan-resembling being in human form.


MisterJay - 1/25/2013, 5:54 AM
momoa is conan... the cast wasn't the problem
KNIGHT3000 - 8/16/2013, 10:03 PM