"And now inevitably going back to the guns… Expendables 2 was fantastic, have you had any update on The Expendables 3 yet? [This interview took place back at the start of the year]
The only thing I’ve heard [about the cast] is there’s some new guys coming on, so I heard names like Wesley Snipes and Jackie Chan, people like that, Nicolas Cage, but I still don’t know anything for sure and I don’t know if I’m in it because I haven’t seen the script, but it certainly is a fun concept and it’s a fun thing to be involved in. It’s a lot of work, because you go off for four months to some godforsaken location, but Sly and I are friends and I enjoy working with him, it’s a lot of fun to work with him, so hopefully it’ll happen.
When I spoke to you before about who you’d like to see in Expendables 2, you mentioned Van Damme, he then came aboard and was fantastic – have you got anyone in particular who you’d like to see in part three?
Haha! Let’s see… I mean look, there’s obviously guys who are my idols, like Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery and these guys, but there’s probably a slim chance of them being in it. I do like Wesley, I think he’s a good martial artist, he’s a good actor and Jackie Chan, of course, has a huge audience and is a fun guy, so he would add humour to it and you know he’s a terrific person. I met him a few times, a really nice guy and I know Sly likes him so… I’m not in the driver's seat on that one, so I can’t say, but any of the above would be great to work with.
I enjoyed working with Chuck Norris and Arnold and Bruce Willis and these guys, not just because the movie’s great, but just on a personal level, it’s fun to work with them because they’re icons and you put them all in one room and you get to part of that, that’s something you never forget, really. I’m not the only one to feel that way; I think most of the guys, (including the above) felt the same way, so I thought that was a fun part of the project, you kind of realise well it’s not going to happen too many more times in the history of film! Are you going to get these type of guys in one room, sitting and talking action again – I don’t think so! [Laughs] Strapping on guns and grenades in some little tent in some place in Bulgaria! So it was cool to be there, it felt special you know?
And for me as a lifelong action movie fan, when everyone was together onscreen at last it felt like I’d been waiting forever to see that happen…
Yeah I know, but like I said, the real life behind the scenes situations were even more mind blowing, because then they’re there for real – the real people standing there talking to each other, that was kinda cool! [Laughs]
-I also thought I’d mention quickly that you’ve got a film coming out called Battle Of The Damned…
Yeah, that’s a little movie I did, the director Chris Hatton wrote the script and it’s kind of like a zombie movie - it’s zombies and robots - and its model is Escape From New York as he was a big fan of that picture and Carpenter. It’s an interesting movie, a lot of action and very violent too, a bit like Universal Soldier 4. We’ll see how it does as it’s a small, under-the-radar type of movie, but I like it, it could be interesting so see what you think when you see it."
TheArnoldFans: What's going on with Conan? What can you share about the latest developments?
Fredrick Malmberg: We're doing the script and it's by the whole 'Fast and the Furious' team, which is great for a power position of the studio because they're exteamily successful - it was the biggest movie and if anyone knows how to build a franchise, it is that team. It's Chris Morgan and Jeffery Kirschenbaum, the head of Universal. Arnold is very excited. It's just in the phase where it takes a lot of work to get the script just right.
TheArnoldFans: Is it depressing for you when you hear that Arnold is doing other films before Conan?
Malmberg: You mean like Terminator? In the movie industry, this happens all the time and nothing happens in the linear fashion like the rest of the world. Everything is relied upon talent such as a director, stars, finishing the script. Most often when everything is aligned, that movie goes first (T5, Maggie). You never who which will go first.
TheArnoldFans: Is The Legend of Conan 100% happening?
Malmberg: Oh, It's happening. We have a great story. Everyone loves it. This is a role that's perfect for him (Arnold) and he's very involved with the whole Universal team. It's the best team they have. Arnold has been very instrumental to being this together saying, 'We gotta make a good Conan!' I think if we do this right, we can do two more Conan movies right after. I think Game of Thrones also shows a huge interest in fantasy. I'm psyched about it.
TheArnoldFans: Have you considered any directors? Paul Verhoeven personally told me he's interested in directing Conan so have you thought already about potential directors?
Malmberg: A lot of directors, managers and agents have called on us and said 'my client is interested.' I mean there's a LOT of fans of both Arnold and Conan but we really want to wield the story first and THEN go to one of these directors. But we will have a great director for sure.
TheArnoldFans: Might we see any of the other original co-star cast come back?
Malmberg: There's Sven-Ole...he's a cool guy. I guess at this point, there's definitely some room for that but it has to make sense and it can't be cheesy. It has to be very believable and it's also crucial to Arnold that this is not too much of a throwback and yet it pays homage...it should pay some respect to the original movies but there has to be a real reason for it.
Malmberg: What we could do...Jay told me they found more of Basil's score. There's like another full hour of unreleased music. I didn't know he wrote more. As he was passing, they had a big outdoor concert in Spain with he music from Conan so he definitely has a big following and the score was fantastic. The question is, are you dating the movie by the same score? But I love that score. Everyone loves that score.
TheArnoldFans: Is there a budget in mind when writing the script?
Malmberg: With today's production values, we can probably do a lot more with what they were doing way back then. I mean we have seen what Peter Jackson has done. I think of course this is probably more grounded and less fantastical with less creatures and CG monsters. We want to have some of that fantastical world but we don't want it to become a complete fantasy because what really set Conan the Barbarian apart from all the other fantasy movies is that this feels like our prehistoric earth. Still, we want to make it full of splendor.
TheArnoldFans: The Legend of Conan. What’s the meaning behind the film’s title?
Malmberg: The idea is that this takes place AFTER Conan has been king. But this is the legend of Conan where he has been gone and people say, 'do you remember the good ol' days when Conan was around?' And now it's time for him to come back. In the stories and you can also see it when he's sitting on the thrown and the narration on that last scene of the movie..."with a troubled brow" ...you can tell he's not really happy being king. So, it's time for him to go out and do battle.
TheArnoldFans: Is this a stand-alone film or might it be a trilogy?
Malmberg: That's what we hope. In fact Arnold, judging by other classic actors like Eastwood who's in his 80s, he still looks badass. I think if this film is good and is well received, then I don't think we have to say NO to Arnold for several more movies. We can keep going forward, even after he ages.
TheArnoldFans: Do you prefer a Conan to have his grey beard or would he want this elder barbarian to be clean-shaven.
Malmberg: He's so multi-dimensional as a character. You can't really say that he's all squeaky clean and good like Superman and he's not a badass killer guy; he has a very strong moral code. He's almost like a biker/Jesus. He's a threat to the establishment like he's a f***ing revolution, you know? At the same time he is an outlaw like a biker and he follows his biker code and he's like 'whatever you do to me, I’ll do twice back to you.'
TheArnoldFans: The fans demand Arnold in this role. He is Conan!
Malmberg: It's very funny because in the Conan comic books, I believe Arnold is in issue #1 or maybe it was issue 3. He's in an advertisement for bodybuilding trying to get you to pump up. And this is In a comic issue of Conan the Barbarian (before the film). It must have been in an issue that was in 1970 or 1971.
TheArnoldFans: Will this be a big team-up film? I’m worried that half of the screen time might go to Conan’s son or the latest teen heart-throb.
Malmberg: The idea for this particular film is that he will be the lead, a lot of people ask if we're going to introduce a son of Conan and passing the torch? The idea is to not. No, this is Conan's movie. This is Arnold's movie!
TheArnoldFans: Might this be the first Schwarzenegger movie to have a 3D treatment?
Malmberg: It's on the table and it's a big studio picture and a big event movie. I wouldn't rule it out but right now, all we're concentrating on is the story. It's a working machine with everyone and marketing people. The president over there at Universal Pictures is Jeffery Kirschenbaum, and he's one of the top two executive producers and he has a huge position there at Universal and he's always been a huge Conan fan. 'I want to make Conan,’ he's said many times. And it was Universal who launched the first film with Arnold. Now the constellation is aligning. Earlier this year Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to me about pumping up for his returning role to Conan!
Schwarzenegger: “Well, age doesn’t mean anything to me, because I work out every day. I work out twice a day, as a matter of fact. At night I work out with weights, and in the morning I do cardiovascular training. So for me, to get on the set and to swing the sword around again and to ride the horses and all those things doesn’t mean anything [does not scare me], because I feel like I did thirty years ago. So as long as I stay in shape, that’s the key thing, and to keep your body young. Even though you do feel the pain when you wipe out and when you do your fight scenes and you get more sore and the body doesn’t come back as quickly and all this . . . but just grind through it, you know? That’s what it’s all about!”
Mike made a couple of pics of what Batman might look like if he was played by Adkins,
We have another fan Nic Cage EX 3 poster
If you ever wanted to see Yin Yang and Lee Christmas fight one another, this film may be the closest you will get to seeing that. This week the Premiere Highlight`s 2007`s War! Click here to see the page.
Round 2, Bracket 4 Results
And the winner is...
Here is an updated picture of the entire tournament