A few days ago the news broke to the interwebs that Mickey Rourke was in negotiations to play Conan’s father in the upcoming Conan film. And it gave me tiny spark of hope for this film. Hope because Mickey Rourke is one hell of an actor, and is arguably one of the best examples of a Hollywood comeback in recent memory. And after The Wrestler I’m willing to see just about anything that he might appear in (Ironman 2 anyone?). Tiny, though, because the casting choice for the character of Conan is so horribly misdirected that I’m not sure Rourke can save this film from mediocrity, or worse; utter failure. Sometimes an actor in a supporting role can be so engaging that his performance transcends the weaknesses of the film itself, making the overall product more appealing than it would otherwise have been. But these cases are pretty uncommon (see Christoph Waltz’ in Inglorious Basterds.)
But just when the clouds seemed to part even the tiniest bit, a new bit of casting
nonsense news was revealed today. Latino Review is reporting that MMA fighter Bob Sapp will play the role of a main villain for Conan called Ukafa. If you heard a loud groan just now, have no fear. It’s just the sound of every Conan fan boy’s hopes and dreams being collectively expelled in an exhalation of despair and indignation. I mean, come on! An MMA fighter? It’s quite obvious that the film makers aren’t taking this seriously in any sense of the word.
I’ll honestly be really surprised if this reboot of the classic R.E. Howard pulp character doesn’t turn out to be more like the watered down film The Scorpion King. And even though it’s still very early in the game, with what we know about the director, the actor cast to portray Conan, and news of this new villain, what was once one of the biggest blips on my movie radar has quickly shrunken to the point that I may not even see this film in the theater. Or at all!
Man, sometimes I really hate Hollywood. Curse them!