Is the Governator the One, True Barbarian?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is the Governator the One, True Barbarian?

Newsarama reported earlier this morning that Jason Momoa has been cast as the new Conan The Barbarian.

After a couple of moments staring at the picture, I went ahead and tweeted out the news with fan girl delight. It feels like a good time for a reboot and Momoa feels like an interesting choice.

So, I was surprised when Rotten Tomatoes tweeted back that Momoa might be facing an uphill battle when it came to taking on the very "Arnold" role. In my mind, it's been long enough to allow for a new actor to step in and make the role his but I also know Rotten Tomatoes has been watching film reactions for a long time, so I'm not gonna blow off the opinion.

Now, I'll admit. Maybe it's because I think Momoa is sexier than Arnold ever was. Maybe it's the babe factor. Newsarama contributor Vaneta Rogers dropped into the conversation and her thoughts echoed mine.

Maybe we're dazzled by the dreads?

What do you think? Can Jason Momoa make you forget Arnold? Or is the Governator forever "Conan"?


Pic courtesy of Newsarama

3 comments:

  1. Hey there,

    Matchity from RT here (that's me writing the posts on Twitter). To be clear, I don't think Momoa is bad choice for the role, I just think that he's going to have a hard time overcoming the near-synonymous status that Arnold has as legendary Cimmerian.

    I suppose a big part of the problem is that no one else has really taken up the mantle successfully since Arnold played the role 25 years ago; Ralf Moeller in Conan the Adventurer certainly didn't leave a lasting impression.

    EON can replace the guy playing James Bond every few years, because as a culture, we're used to that. But stepping into an iconic role like Conan, while not impossible, is really an uphill battle.

    It would be like trying to recast Ellen Ripley, or Dirty Harry, or Han Solo. (And yes, Mal IS Han, but we all know that if Lucas tried to actually recast Han, there'd be an epic assualt on Skywalker Ranch by raging hordes of furious geeks).

    Don't get me wrong; I would *love* to see a new Conan movie, and I think Momoa is a good choice, but I'm just Arnold casts a pretty big shadow over the role, and Momoa's going to have a tough battle to make the legend his own.

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  2. Arnold who? Bring on Momoa! Even if he DOESN'T make the role his own - think of the costumes. The promo posters. The action figures.

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  3. Y'know, I don't think this is bad casting, at least visually. I don't know about the acting, but...I'm not sure about Arnold in Conan, either.

    The Arnold-as-Conan iconic nature is, to me, debatable at best. It's there. It's tenuous, in my mind, but it is there. I agree that there's been enough time for a whole new gen of geeks to grow up free of the notion that it can ONLY be Arnold. Now, try remaking Terminator and the villagers w torches and pitchforks will descend.
    (Interestingly, with the importing of Torchwood to American shores looking like a possibility and an interest in rebooting Doctor Who on American tv, I had total WTFOMGBBQ!!!1! overload. Doctor Who can. not. be. Amurrican.) So it's not just recasting, but remaking that runs into Icon-walls-of-brick. Remaking The Office = Fine, Remaking Doctor Who = Yanks overstepping the boundaries of good taste. Could just be me.

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