Screenwriter Sean Hood Talks Conan The Barbarian!

Screenwriter Sean Hood Talks <i>Conan The Barbarian</i>!

Sean Hood tells us about rewrites on Conan The Barbarian, it's R rating and how much different this new film will be from other Conan Movies.

Rama'sSCREEN spent the last month conducting an e-mail interview with Sean Hood, the man who was responsible for rewriting the Conan The Barbarian movie script. There is not much about the film that the interview does not cover, it's both comprehensive and extensive.

Below is just a portion of the interview...

Did you set it up so that the movie would have scenes that jump out at your face? or is it going to be more depth of field type 3D like Pixar’s UP and TOY STORY 3? What is the goal to have CONAN in 3D besides to have audiences pay more for those pesky glasses?

Unlike many recent fantasy films, in which the images and action look more like a digital cartoon than the natural world, the director was very passionate about filming Conan in a way that looks gritty and realistic. In other words, the stunts, the fighting, and the visual effects were done, whenever possible, IN CAMERA.

I think that audiences are hungry for this kind of action film. In this Conan the Barbarian, people don’t flip backwards through the air in gravity defying bullet time or leap across chasms as if playing Nintendo. Swords are heavy, armor is cumbersome, and when people break bones or crack skulls, the audience winces. The action feels visceral and authentic.

The 3D elements in Conan are meant to enhance this concrete and naturalistic style. In scenes of warfare, you feel trapped between spearmen and archers. In scenes in ancient ruins you feel dizzy with vertigo. In this movie, 3D is used to enhance the effects of a barbaric world and to push the story forward. It’s more about immersing the audience in the environment than “jumping out in your face.”

Of course, I haven’t seen a cut in 3D yet, and something tells me they won’t be able to resist a sword thrust or two into the audience’s eyes. And, it’s always fun when your date dives onto your lap to duck an arching spatter of blood.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I understand Stephen Lang plays the villain Khalar Zym, what type of villain can we expect here? How brutal is he in the story?

Steven Lang plays a very sadistic villain, but the changes we made in the shooting script gave him a very sympathetic and “human” goal. So much so that some were worried during shooting that his motivation was TOO sympathetic for the “bad guy.” Luckily, he brutally hacks and tortures so many helpless victims with his unique double blade, that I have no worries that people will find him too “human.”

But every good villain thinks he is justified, even heroic, in his actions… and so does Khalar.

I understand that CONAN will go back to hard R.. .. so how strong are the R-rated stuff here? How strong are the violence and the sexual content in the story?

The world of Hyboria as Robert E. Howard described it is fleshy and brutal. Bloody beheadings and bare-chested slave girls abound. However, while the movie is unflinching, the violence and nudity is part of the fabric of the story.

Robert E. Howard’s novels, although violent and perverse for their time, were not intrusively graphic either. So this is ultimately a movie about the character Conan, a character that will hopefully launch a healthy franchise of movies with stories and characters that celebrate Howard’s work. Yes, you’ll see blood and boobs, but this isn’t an exploitation movie.

Hawksblueyes: There is much, much more to this interview. Click on the link below to read it in it's entirety at Rama'sScreen.
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