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 So, Ridley Scott didn't want Arnold as Conan...

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MightyMcT
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PostSubject: So, Ridley Scott didn't want Arnold as Conan...   Tue 13 May - 22:34

...then, years later, he was more than happy and ready to do I AM LEGEND with him! Rolling Eyes

Here is an excerpt from Dino De Laurentiis biography:

Quote :
"In 1980 a young producer in Los Angeles, Ed Pressman, got me to read a screenplay adapted from Conan the Barbarian. It was the work of an up-and-coming screenwriter, Oliver Stone, who was destined to become a celebrated director. Anyway, the initial script was full of exaggerated violence, and it was too costly to make, but what fascinated me was the way it conveyed the feeling of a primitive and brutal epoch. It seemed like a great project to offer to a talented director. My first choice was Ridley Scott, who was already in the midst of a great career: he had progressed from making commercials to the worldwide success of ALIEN. I had been in contact with him since 1977, when I saw and admired his first film, THE DUELLISTS, but we hadn't yet done anything together. Well, I went to see Ridley in London and gave him Stone's screenplay, which he liked very much. Immediately he asked which actor I intended to use for the film, and I told him, "Arnold Schwarzenegger. I know what you're going to say: he has no experience as an actor. But he's got the ideal physique for Conan." Ridley didn't agree. He assured me that he would sign on right away if I changed my mind about the protagonist. For me, though, Arnold was fundamental, so I began looking for another director. I eventually signed up John Milius. Along with being a successful director, Milius was an excellent screenwriter. He revised the script, cutting back the prohibitive costs, and enthusiastically prepared to shoot the film. I entrusted the project to Raffaella: it was her first international production."

Work on CONAN THE BARBARIAN began in Spain in January 1981. A physically demanding production, it inflicted a seemingly endless series of injuries on poor Arnold. But the director comforted him with his patented tough-guy mantra: "Pain passes. The films remain." He also let Arnold know, in his own particular way, that any past contretemps had been forgotten. "Dino came to the set after four days of shooting. He had seen the dailies and he came up to me on the steps of a big battle scene. 'Come here,' he said. 'You're Conan!' He didn't say, 'You're great!' or 'You look fantastic!' Instead he gave me the biggest compliment by letting me know that I was the character. 'Ah!' I thought, 'I think we have just solved our differences.' " Not only were any differences resolved but the two worked together again on CONAN THE DESTROYER and RAW DEAL.

Source: Dino: The Life and Films of Dino De Laurentiis, by Tullio Kezich, Alessandra Levantesi - p.253

Notice how Dino now says that he was backing up Arnold like right from the beginning ("For me, Arnold was fundamental") whereas everyone knows that he in fact DID NOT want him at all in the main role! Mr. Green

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PostSubject: Re: So, Ridley Scott didn't want Arnold as Conan...   Tue 13 May - 23:44

Good find!

I think Dino also mentioned somewhere that his first choice for the director was John Milius, whom he was invloved with for "Half the Sky". Thing is, we're dealing with anecdotes on all sides, its rather hard to tell fact from fiction, on top of that, all of them have egos which they can back.

PS

Arnold was under contract because of Ed Pressman's deal. Moreover Milius was unsure of Arnold and searched for other actors, which he casually admitted on the CE DVD.
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