To follow Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984) with a third film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the muscle bound pulp hero, Conan!
OH. SO WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED?
Although Conan didn’t originate as a comic-book character his continued appearance in comics has largely been a huge part of his appeal and so for the third film in the Conan trilogy the likelihood was that it would have been based upon Conan creator Robert E. Howard’s 1935 novel The Hour Of The Dragon which Marvel Comics had used in stories in 1974. The film was set to be directed by either Guy Hamilton or John Guillerman, it would have once again starred Arnie and may have even saw Conan become King Conan (as mentioned in the previous two movies).
BUT WHAT DID HAPPEN?
Development of the movie stalled because Arnie was committed to making Predator (1987) and after playing Conan in two big budget blockbusters as well as having a cameo role (not as Conan...but as good as) in Red Sonja (1985) doing yet another barbarian movie just didn’t seem a viable career choice. As Arnie was no longer signed to make any further Conan movies he decided it was the right time to move away from the franchise and so Conan stopped at two movies. Without its biggest star the film remained locked in Development Hell for years and with a few tweaks the script was eventually turned into the Kevin Sorbo starring movie Kull The Conqueror (1997).
WAS THIS SUCH A BAD THING?
It was a shame as the Conan movies were highly enjoyable and as both films had hinted that Conan would one day become a king, it would have been fun to see it finally happen. However in fairness to Arnie his career was continuing to rise into the stratosphere and so doing another Conan movie just wouldn’t have done him any favours.
BUT WHAT IF?
If Arnie had made one more Conan movie then it may have stopped him from doing Batman & Robin (1997), which would have been a great thing. However it may have also stopped him doing True Lies (1994), which would have been a bad thing. Either way you cut it, there would have been casualties.