Following the acquisition of Cabinet Group, the company that controlled the rights to Conan the Barbarian as well as Solomon Kane and others, by Funcom, Cabinet Group’s CEO Frederik Malmberg provided an update on the Solomon Kane and Conan the Barbarian series he was previously developing for TV.
Specifically, Cabinet Group is being folded into Heroic Signatures, which was previously a joint venture created by Funcom and Cabinet to licensed the Cabinet Group’s IP for video games. Malmberg will be the new President of Heroic Signatures.
It was reported back in May by Midnight’s Edge founder Andre Einherjar that Malmberg was developing a Solomon Kane series.
Not only did he reveal a series was in development, but gave some details about what the series would be about, “There will be no origin. It will begin with his adventures in Africa. And the model that they are kind of going for is the Sherlock series, the one with Benedict Cumberbatch, with 90 minute episodes.”
“It should be noted that this is very, very early days. So, this is something that’s being developed internally. It’s an intention, there’s still no distribution in place. But that is how the Conan series started too before it was,” he continued.
Now, in a new interview with Einherjar, Malmberg provided an update on the Solomon Kane series.
Malmberg stated, “Well, let’s start with the Solomon Kane thing that we are developing internally. This acquisition could also change things for us as we can then look at different… We could look at, for instance, anime versions of Solomon Kane. We can look at various media. We can look at even tying into some of the gaming plans we would have for the character.”
“So we need to put the thinking hat on that maybe this actually opens up new avenues for us, for Solomon Kane,” he added.
Malmberg also provided an update on the Conan TV series that is being developed for Netflix. The series was originally announced back in 2018 as an Amazon Studios production being helmed by Ryan Condal.
However, in 2020 it was reported that Malmberg had moved the project to Netflix where he was working on both live-action and animated adaptations of the character.
Midnight’s Edge reported in May that the show had moved along in its development. Einherjar stated, “They have a showrunner. They are not ready to divulge who the showrunner is, but there is a showrunner now. What that means is that things are full steam ahead… Of course you never know anything until cameras are rolling. But from what I can tell, at least, everything appears to be going smoothly.”
Now, Malmberg says, “With Conan, I’m happy to say that we are writing. We are in development, which means we basically work with a writer, who has written the first draft of the pilot of the series, and then a season overview.”
“So, we are working together with the Netflix team. Obviously, with Covid, it’s been a little tricky because everybody’s working from home. It’s all Zoom conferences and very difficult to get everyone aligned. So, things are progressing, but as always you want them to progress faster than they do, but that’s the world they live in. But things are going well,” he added.
Funcom’s CEO Rui Casais also spoke with Games Industry about the acquisition saying, “Together we feel like we have a lot more muscle to develop these IPs in the coming years.”
He continued, “Of course, IP development takes time. But it’s not just about Conan. Conan is extremely important and there’s a Netflix TV show in development. But the other characters we can bring to life will feel a lot more attention with the backing we have and the ability we have to push them.”
While they are developing a Solomon Kane and Conan series, Funcom is also working on a game that “will combine many of the characters in the Robert E. Howard universe.”
Casais added, “I’m excited about what we can do with these IPs and get more games, more board games, more TV shows, more cool characters into the zeitgeist and people’s mindset. We have some really good material to work with.”
Are you looking forward to what Funcom and Heroic Signatures have in the works for Solomon Kane, Conan the Barbarian, and other Robert E. Howard creations?