‘Conan The Barbarian’ Producer Admits The Jason Momoa Film Was A Failure, Vows Not To Repeat It With Upcoming Live-Action Project


Conan The Barbarian producer Fredrik Malmberg recently admitted that the 2011 film starring Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, and Stephen Lang was a failure, but vows to not repeat it in the future.

The Savage Sword of Conan: The Original Comics Omnibus Vol. 1 Cover by John Buscema

The 2011 Conan the Barbarian film only grossed $21.2 million at the domestic box office and another $42 million at the international box office for a global gross of $63.3 million. According to The-Numbers the film had a production budget of $90 million. That means the film lost quite a bit of money as it didn’t even recoup its production costs let alone its marketing budget.

To put in perspective how terrible the film did at the box office, the 1982 Conan the Barbarian film grossed $38.2 million at the domestic box office and another $40.8 million internationally. It grossed a total of $79.1 million globally. The film’s production budget was only $20 million.

Conant The Barbarian #1 Movie Replica Cover (2023), Titan Comics

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Not only did the film do poorly at the box office, but moviegoers were unimpressed with the film as well. The movie has an abysmal 5.1 out of 10 from IMDb users.

Conan the Barbarian IMDb user scores

On Rotten Tomatoes the film received an atrocious 30% Audience Score with users giving the film an average rating of 2.7 out of 5.

Conan the Barbarian Rotten Tomatoes Score

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Speaking with Andre Einherjar of Midnight’s Edge, Malmberg was asked about an update on any possible live-action adaptations of Conan the Barbarian.

Malmberg answered, “I wish I could tell you. I can’t tell you right now. I hope that we will actually be able to tell the world about our plans this summer. And as you can understand it’s a space which is it needs to be done right. We failed the last time around, I think it’s fair to say. And this time we don’t want to repeat that.”

“Better to be safe and sorry and not spill the beans until it’s ready to be spent,” he concluded.

A Conan the Barbarian TV series was originally announced back in 2018 with Deadline reporting the series found a home at Prime Video and would be helmed by Ryan Condal, Miguel Sapochnik and Executive Producer Warren Littlefield.

The original report detailed the series would retell Conan’s origins as he is “driven out of his tribal homelands [and] wanders the mysterious and treacherous world of civilization where he searches for purpose in a place that rejects him as a mindless savage.”

The Savage Sword of Conan: The Original Comics Omnibus Vol. 1 Cover by Boris Vallejo

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The project would never come to fruition and in 2020 it was reported by Deadline that Netflix was developing “an epic live-action series based on Conan.” Not only was Netflix reportedly developing a Conan live-action series, but Deadline also noted they had struck a deal to “develop works across TV and film, both live-action and animated” for Conan.

Unlike the series with Amazon, they were still looking for a writer/showrunner to pen the Conan series at the time of the announcement.

Conan The Barbarian #1 Map Cover (2023), Titan Comics

Back in September 2021, Malmberg did provide an update revealing they were indeed working on writing the series.

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He said, “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 CEO Rui Casais also told Games Industry in September 2021 that they were working on a Conan series with Netflix, but also noted they planned to give attention to a number of other characters in the Heroic Signatures’ box, “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.”


Given Malmberg’s recent comments it appears a big announcement might be made at San Diego Comic-Con for the live-action Conan series at Netflix albeit it could also have developed into a film given his reference to the failed Jason Momoa led film from 2011.

What do you make of Malmberg’s update?

NEXT: Heroic Signatures President Explains Why They Chose To Publish New Conan The Barbarian Stories With Titan: “We Don’t Want To Be Bound By Any Comics Code”

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