This is the fourth in my list of comics that I think should have TV shows. If you’re new reading this please check out my introduction, if you’re not new, you might enjoy Conan the Barbarian!
Don’t look at me like that, it counts. I said if it’s ever been a comic book series it counts, and Conan has. While I suppose you could just as equally make the argument that you should bring in influence from the original stories by Robert E. Howard and that because Conan has been between publishers Marvel and Dark Horse that it’s a tricky subject as to where you would get your episodes from, I honestly say find a way to do all three.
Game of Thrones proved that a fantasy TV series with sex, blood and gore can work and not long after Vikings proved that you can make a historical show with strong writing, performances and cinematography and not be overshadowed by Game of Thrones. So I see no reason not to adapt Conan the Barbarian to the silver screen. In a perfect world I’d even like to see Jason Momoa reprise his role as Conan from the lackluster but serviceable 2011 movie.
While it would be impossible to avoid the inaccurate claims of it being a Game of Thrones knock-off, the setting would be able to stand on its own, as Conan in both the stories and comics is less of a forest and elves fantasy and far more of a dark sword and sorcery where barren wastelands and savagery are the norm.
It would also give filmmakers a chance to finally do Conan right. The 2011 movie came far closer to showing Conan as the intelligent tactician that he is as opposed to just being a brutish warrior but it still fell short from the poor writing of the film. However a TV show could do well to fix the popular misconception of Conan being a dumb brute who struggles his way through conversations and turn him into a fearsome warrior that is actually smart and worthy of stigma. Until then unfortunately the popular image of Conan is still this:
When it should be this:
Although there is another warrior who could probably use the same treatment…
Sam and Twitch