Sunday, October 16, 2011


Although it got trashed by the critics (scoring a 23% at Rotten Tomatoes) audiences who came out to see this past summer’s fantasy adventure Conan The Barbarian seemed to enjoy the film, giving it a “B minus” CinemaScore. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough audiences showing up to see the film to hit any higher than fourth place at the box office its opening weekend.

This weekend at New York Comic Con, the film’s three stars Jason Momoa, Rose McGowan and Stephen Lang appeared at a panel to discuss the film. Invariably, the subject of the film’s poor box office and the chance of a sequel came was brought up. Momoa, who had stated when he was doing promotion for the film that he had written a story for a possible sequel, stated that there was little possibility that a sequel would happen.

I haven’t heard a word from anyone and it’s kind of sad because I feel a little cheated myself because we really busted our asses to make it amazing for the fans. I was a fan and I think we really hit it but to tell you the truth a lot of people didn’t go see it so I doubt that they’ll make a sequel. I would love it, but there would be less money there and [a sequel] is something that I would want to be bigger and better.

McGowan jumped in to add that a fate of a movie can often be outside the control of its cast and crew, stating that the film’s R rating may have kept some audiences away while the PG-13 rated horror film Fright Night, which opened the same day, further siphoned off potential ticket buyers.

People don’t understand behind the scenes stuff. Lionsgate and Millennium, the people behind [the movie], to an extent did a really good job. But the entire distribution team at Lionsgate just got replaced. Also the second weekend Hurricane Irene happened and two-thirds of the country was shut down so it was just bad luck essentially.

McGowan went on to draw an analogy as to what it was like to make a film she was proud of only to have it fail at the box office. “It’s essentially like giving birth to this really great baby, you hand it to the nurse and it falls out of her hands and flies out the window,” she said.

“They dropped my baby?” questioned Momoa after the laughter in response to McGowan’s statement died down.

“They did!” she replied. “They drop kicked it!”

Lang added that he has participated in a number films that weren’t successful right away but still went on to find their audiences. He also stated that he was disappointed that he wouldn’t get to see more of his castmate Momoa continue to explore the character of Conan in future films.

It’s really easy to do a postmortem on the thing. I think that the R didn’t help the business of the film one bit. Maybe it was necessary for the movie. I see that. I think Rose says it pretty well that the distribution didn’t work out quite it should have. I sure wish this one had done much better than it did. I think it deserved a number of sequels and I would like to see Jason track that character for a long time.

CONAN panel at NYCC 2011

At 10am, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowen and Jason Momoa walked in and since there was no moderator, they would have to wing it themselves.
What's been your favorite role to play and what would be your dream role to play?

Favorite Role: Khalar Zym from the new Conan the Barbarian movie.
DreamRole: Theodore Roosevelt.

Favorite Role: Paige Matthews from the TV show Charmed.
Dream Role: Would like to do a Jazz period piece or play Scarlett O'Hara

Favorite Role: Conan.
Hardest Role to play: Khal Drago
Dream Role: A Braveheart hero set in Hawaii. He would love to do a movie about his people and his native Hawaii.

Then more question were asked. Here are the highlights:

Favorite Comic Books/Characters:

Stephen: Thor, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Captain America
Rose: She doesn't have a favorite comic book, but wishes she could play one.
Jason: Wild Cats and Spawn.

If they could work with any actor, who would it be?

Stephen: Kate Winslet. He also would have loved to work with Marlon Brando. Actually he said Brando and Jason teased him about it, saying he's dead and good luck with that.
Rose: Russell Crowe or Julianne Moore.
Jason: Daniel Day Lewis or Gary Oldman.

The one character they played they would have over for dinner?

Stephen: Khalar Zym or Stonewall Jackson
Rose: Paige Matthews
Jason: Conan. He also said the one character he's played he would never have over is Drago, because Drago would bend him over the dinner table and do his thing. (If you've seen Game of Thrones, you know what he means). The crowd was in hysterics over that.

The actor they're starstruck over?

Stephen: Gene Hackman. He also has worked with Lucielle Ball and Dustin Hoffman and couldn't stop raving about both, especially Lucielle who he said had beautiful blue eyes.
Rose: She acted with Peter O'Toole and kept in contact with him and his family. He once said to her, let's start a scandal together.
Jason: Rose and Stephen.

What advice would you give to your younger self as they start their journey into acting?

Stephen: He wouldn't say anything because if he did, it would be a butterfly effect and he wouldn't be where he is now if he didn't take the roles offered.
Rose: Get an education first. Very important.
Jason: He would have taken more serious roles, perhaps taken acting classes like at the Actors Studio. Someone from the crowd said he loved him in Baywatch and Jason blushed. He joked how he didn't want to talk about that and Rose said it was a way to pay the bills.

Other interesting tidbits...

There has been many rumors about Rose playing Red Sonja in the remake. She says she would love to but can't because she broke a certain bone and if she does a stunt wrong, she could end up paralyzed and won't take the chance.

He's dying to do a romantic comedy because he thinks he's "funny as fuck" (he was extremely hilarious at the panel, so I say, GIVE THIS MAN A ROMANTIC COMEDY). He's tired of frowning in his movies and he wants to make a movie his children can watch.

Jason won the role of Drago by doing the Haka, a sacred native Hawaiian dance that's usually reserved for weddings and funerals. Someone asked him to do it but he said it's too sacred to do for fun. Jason had to learn the Dothraki language by listening to a CD that sounded like a cross between German and Arabic. He did not have a fun time learning Dothraki.

A man stood up and said his girlfriend, who was sitting next to him, would love him forever if Jason could say "you are my sun and the stars" in Dothraki. Jason did in his Khal Drago voice and everyone in the room swooned.

Jason would love to do more film making. He did write a script for a Conan sequel, but since it didn't do well, the sequel won't get made. Right now he's filming a movie that takes place on a Native America Reservation that he wrote the script for and is directing. Its a drama and a road movie (think Jack Kerouac). From what I gathered, the movie is about a Native America woman who is raped on the reservation by an outsider. Since any crimes on a Native America reservation still must be taken up in federal court, it could take years for the trial to start and the criminal to be brought to justice. Someone close to the rape victim, probably a male character would kill the rapist and would be in the lam, thus the comment about the road movie.

Jason hates horses. He doesn't mind petting them, but he has this vision of riding on one and it falls on him and he dies. Then he couldn't be there for his children. He was, shall we say a bit fearful as Drago at 240lbs riding a horse. So says the King of the Horses.

Loves the fact that Avatar has been remastered and brought back into theaters and doesn't mind if Avatar keeps coming back to the theaters better than before. I've never seen Avatar, but after hearing Stephen speak, I want to see the movie.

All three were very proud of their word in Conan the Barbarian and loved working together. They're all disappointed that they can't do a sequel or there won't be a sequel. Rose thought that even though Conan was a total popcorn movie, Conan had everything to be a success.

They didn't seem too pleased with Comic Con in San Diego. The energy is pretty much the same in NYC. Jason hated San Diego because it was too sunny and bright (ha!) and loves New York. I found this funny because he comes from Hawaii.

Stephen, Rose and Jason were very funny, down to earth and very personal. You could see how much they love their jobs and they were so happy we came to their panel. Whenever anyone would stand and say how much they love their work and them, the three were so grateful.