Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to reprise his role as Conan The Barbarian in the upcoming The Legend of Conan, but is the character about to inhabit a Marvel-style cinematic universe? If producer Fredrik Malmberg has anything to say about it, yes.
Malmberg, the producer of both the 2011 Jason Momoa-led Conan reboot and the upcoming Schwarzenegger sequel, has purchased the film rights to all of the works of author Robert E. Howard, the man who created Conan, Kull the Conqueror, Solomon Kane, and more. Those properties have already had movies based on them, but Malmberg hopes to tie them all in together, using the Marvel template as an example. He says:
“These days, it comes down to brands and characters and we are looking at long-term possibilities. We look at how Marvel played out with its rich based of characters, and this too is a universe that lends itself to exploitation in TV and film. There aren’t many libraries like this.”
Every studio is trying to build their own cinematic universes right now, so this isn't even remotely a surprise. But I'm guessing there's not a lot of demand for these characters, so this seems like an idea that will go nowhere fast. Malmberg bought Paradox Entertainment, the company that owned the rights to Howard's library of characters, but there are also additional Paradox originals that are now on the table for new films, including Mutant Chronicles/Warzone, Kult, Chronopia, and Mutant. Good luck with that.