I hear the project, from Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler’s Pathfinder Media, is the first in a deal between Netflix and Conan Properties International, owned by Malmberg’s Cabinet Entertainment. The pact gives Netflix the exclusive option to acquire rights to the Conan literary library and develop works across TV and film, both live-action and animated.
The move would fit into Netflix’s strategy of acquiring globally recognizable IP to build an universe of films and TV series, including Roald Dahl’s novels, The Chronicles of Narnia books and comics publisher Millarworld.
A search is currently underway for a writer/showrunner to pen the Conan adaptation and director to helm the project. Malmberg and Wheeler will serve as executive producers on the potential series through their Pathfinder Media.
Pulp fiction author Howard introduced Conan the Barbarian, aka Conan the Cimmerian, in a series of short stories, first published in 1932 in Weird Tales magazine. The Conan stories ushered in a new genre of writing: Sword and Sorcery. Through the years the original tales have inspired over a thousand comic books, one hundred novels, three feature films, two television series, multiple video games, and a vast range of collectibles, toys, and more, worldwide.
The character was most famously played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1982 feature Conan the Barbarian, which made him a global superstar, as well as the 1984 sequel Conan the Destroyer. In the 2011 Conan the Barbarian reboot, produced by Malmberg, the title role was played by Jason Momoa.
Conan the Adventurer animated series and spinoff Conan and the Young Warriors ran from 1992-94, followed by a short-lived 1997 syndicated action-adventure series, Conan the Adventurer, toplined by Ralf Möller.
Two years ago, a Conan drama series, based on the works by Howard, was in development at Amazon from Ryan Condal, Miguel Sapochnik, Warren Littlefield, Pathfinder Media and Endeavor Content. Wheeler and Malmberg previously produced Syfy’s Blood Drive.