Should Arnie return to Conan?
It seems amazing that there's going to be a new Conan film, currently called The Legend of Conan, or rather it seems amazing that there's going to be a new Conan film that will star Arnold Schwarzenegger in his iconic role of Conan.
There's no denying he's not the bodybuilder he once was and it seems strange that he would return to the franchise, but with some time passing in the script it's no big deal is it? Well perhaps not, until you think of his career.
The news is that he's returning and the pitch of most of the stories is "oh no, he's too old and he's not going to be able to pull it off because he's no longer a bodybuilder", well that goes without saying doesn't it? Mind you, I said it in the opening. He is older, he doesn't look like he used to when he was a bodybuilder, but is that such a bad thing?
It's not hard to see a script where Conan is an old warrior past his time, a warrior king perhaps, looking back on his past as a younger bodybuilding actor takes up the mantle of the young Conan, or an entirely new story happens around him and he doesn't necessarily have to be the focus of the film, there are many scenarios that would work.
That's not the question I have though, the question I have is why. Why cling onto the old roles of the previous Arnold Schwarzenegger? It's not as though he can carry them off and it's not as though we need to be reminded of who Schwarzenegger is do we? Do we?
I think Schwarzenegger needs to focus on the new phase of his career, the one as the mature actor and if that involves action roles then it will be action roles as a mature actor, not returning to the roles that made him famous, Conan, Terminator, and so on.
I can understand it's hard to let go of the previous glory that your career once had but it's not like he needs it, the buzz of him getting into some of these newer roles is big enough and the media are all over it. Surely returning to the older roles is going to be detracting from what he's shaping for his new career? I know it gives him more exposure but is that what he really needs? Don't audiences need to accept him as a mature action star, or even if he moves on from action as a mature actor?