One of the most recognized celebrities in the world, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action star, with his breakthrough the sword and sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian.
Released in 1982, the film received positive reviews and was a box office hit; it spawned to a sequel in 1984 and a reboot in 2011.
In today’s video, we’ll take a look back at the original cast of the movie and see how they’ve changed over the years.
Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 American epic sword and sorcery film directed by John Milius and written by Milius and Oliver Stone. Based on Robert E. Howard’s Conan, the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Earl Jones and tells the story of a barbarian warrior named Conan (Schwarzenegger) who seeks vengeance for the death of his parents at the hands of Thulsa Doom (Jones), the leader of a snake cult.
Ideas for a Conan film were proposed as early as 1970; executive producer Edward R. Pressman and associate producer Edward Summer began a concerted effort to get the film made in 1975.
It took them two years to obtain the film rights, after which they recruited Schwarzenegger for the lead role and Stone to draft a script. Pressman lacked capital for the endeavor. In 1979, after having his proposals for investments rejected by the major studios, he sold the project to Dino De Laurentiis; his daughter Raffaella produced the film.
Milius was appointed as director and he rewrote Stone’s script. The final screenplay integrated scenes from Howard’s stories and from the Japanese films Seven Samurai (1954) and Kwaidan (1965). Filming took place in Spain over five months in the regions around Madrid and the province of Almería.
The sets, designed by Ron Cobb, were based on Dark Age cultures and Frank Frazetta’s paintings of Conan. Milius eschewed optical effects, preferring to realize his ideas with mechanical constructs and optical illusions.
Schwarzenegger performed most of his own stunts, and two types of sword, costing $10,000 each, were forged for his character. The editing process took over a year, and several violent scenes were cut out.