I'm officially not allowed to complain about The Legend of Conan any more.
So, though I promised I wouldn't create any more 20,000 word dissertations, I somehow managed to cough up a 5,000 word return post. Yet even writing it, I felt I was just repeating the same points I'd been making about the 2011 film for years, only with stuff I've been saying about the 1982 film for years being thrown in too.
That said, my job's going to be far easier this time around. With the 2011 film, it was meant to be a reboot: people were being assured this was getting back to REH, if not in story, then in spirit: it was imperative that there exist at least one website that didn't view the new film as just a remake, and properly contextualise it as such. Here, though? It's a sequel to the 1982 film. Unless they actually try adapting a Howard story, it has nothing to do with the author beyond basic lip service - so there's no point criticizing it for being inaccurate, because so was the 1982 film.
I keep trying to think of analogies to this situation, but none are really appropriate. The closest I can think of is the many variations of Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Tarzan or James Bond: there are a wide variety of cinematic interpretations, and some of them are so different as to be their own independent characters. Therefore, if someone announced a sequel to one of those films, then there wouldn't be much point bringing up the fact that it isn't like the source material. It's like, no kidding. I mean, who in their right mind would criticize the details in a sequel to Without a Clue because they contradict Arthur Conan Doyle's stories? Why on earth would your first thought reading a synopsis of Blacula 3 be "wait a minute, I don't remember Bram Stoker setting the story in modern-day Los Angeles!" Likewise, when Fredrik Malmberg says this:
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.
Why do so very many people respond with "but Conan wasn't Nordic, he was Celtic, and he didn't believe in Valhalla"? It's just so bloody redundant. I'm also somewhat amazed by the number of people who are talking about Arnold's Conan not believing in Valhalla. Uhm, guys, you did watch the 1982 film, right?
1:45 - "Crom is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, 'What is the riddle of steel?' If I don't know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me." So yeah, Valhalla is part of movie-Conan's mythology.
But I need to stop talking about this blasted film, especially considering there's no guarantee it'll ever come to fruition. I do, however, plan on hijacking it, and wringing every drop of oppourtunity from it.
Case in point, a Summer 2014 release would give me plenty of time to get my act in gear to finally get the Encyclopedia done, and the buzz from the film would only do wonders. About the only opposition I see is from Universal putting the kibosh on it - maybe they don't want to "confuse" the public, as if the mere presence of the original stories wouldn't do that enough - but even then, I'd do everything in my power to get it out in some fashion. Since starting my new career-of-sorts several months ago, the Encyclopedia seemed more like a labour of love that would have to take second place, but in an odd way, this movie could be the best thing that could happen for it. And now that I'm a published comic illustrator, I might even be able to have some more stuff to put in the "About the Author" section.
Not worrying about how the public perceives it (i.e. as a Howard adaptation, which it isn't, and shouldn't be) also means I'm not going to be spending so much time scouring the 'net for news and snippets: I have a feeling another site like The Arnold Fans or The Conan Completist will be more likely to get big scoops like that, and they're welcome to them. Half of the things which could possibly make it divergent from the source material were already present in the 1982 film. It's so much easier being able to say "this has nothing to do with Howard" than "this is ostensibly a reboot and it has some Howardian elements but it also isn't exactly faithful either."
Speaking of which, this is a good excuse to revisit The Filmgoer's Guide and Newcomer's Guide. Already I've found some things that would be worth clarifying (Did Howard write any stories about Conan when he was old, did Conan believe in Valhalla, were the Cimmerians Norse or Viking inspired, etc), and no doubt there'll be other such things to address in future. I just have to be careful: the last thing I want is to be sucked into another Conan 2011 situation, where it started to dominate everything and my work suffered. Hopefully it'll be once bitten, twice shy, and I'll have my priorities right.