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 CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review

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Cromulus The Destroyer
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PostSubject: CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review   Tue 25 Sep - 19:40

And thanks to MightymcT for the help and patience.

--------------------------

CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review
by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Stanley Mann
Final Draft, September 9, 1983
(though there are revisions with dates throughout, at the top of the pages; also, what is wrote in pen at the upper right-hand corner of front cover is the date 11/8/83, 6pm).



I know a lot of people hate the fact that Conan would have worked for Taramis like he did, being seemingly easily duped, but a lot of people don't realize or want to realize that he was hypnotized during that scene. I always saw it like that. In the script, it's more clearer, because she had psychic and magical powers, her eyes were to have flash glowed while finishing talking to Conan, when she put the spell/enchantment thing on him (perhaps cut out in the release version?). This is the same tactic she used for Conan to make him make lover to her over by the Dagoth statue, by starring him in the eyes, and in Conan's mind seeing Valeria. (Not unlike that Pogue's KULL script, with Akivasha psychically transforming/merging herself with Zereta's body and Kull's mind, so she can have sex with Kull). It seems she had more luck than Thulsa Doom regarding hypnotizing Conan, but then again, Conan had a moment of weakness, was at the alter and mourning his lost Valeria.

Malak was still basically the same here, but a bit more active when needed, so was the Wizard. Had there been a better actor for Malak here too it could have worked. Malak is described as a little thief. But he kills a lot of the Guards at the beginning with his daggers... and he also later attacks Dagoth. Still swallowed the jewels or tried... We see in the script it was a good idea actually. He wasn't that dumb or silly as in the movie. He actually tried to get Conan to listen to Akiro's warning about the "prophecy". Conan wouldn't listen to either of his friends. He was obsessed with life for Valeria and still under Taramis' physic powers/promise and such.

There was no man with snakes running away when Conan enters Shadizar with Taramis and her entourage. Camel was present! So was the fat merchant, but he was supposed to be on an elephant chart.

After Conan and Malak go back to the castle at the beginning of the film, with Taramis and what's left of her party, they both get washed. Taramis waves to her handmaidens, she points to Conan and Malak, both covered with blood and dust.

Taramis
Wash them.


Conan is then later brought to the Queen's bed chamber, dressed in white robe garment and sandaled. The Queen puts some kind of spell on him again, with her hypnotic stair. They make love, Taramis' face changes to that of Valeria, and Conan makes love thinking it's Valeria.

It's brought up why she doesn't just use her elite guard: because it takes a thief to steal treasure... that's why. Think "Conan: King of Thieves"! Wink

Jehnna screams in the bedroom, Taramis rushes in, but it's Conan and not just Bombatta that was with her. In the movie, it looks like Conan walks quickly towards the door after Taramis, as in following direct behind her, as in her scream jolted him to attention as well. But that's it, the rest looks cut and Conan is supposed to be present, as in the script he strides in right after her... But he's not there in the movie, like Taramis slammed the door in his face or something, which doesn't actually add up. In the room, it's only Jehnna, Bombaata and Taramis. During this scene, in the script, Taramis walks in with Conan, and there's Bombaata in there to, but Jehnna is supposed to take her eyes off of Bombaata and focus them more/only on Conan standing there... as there being an implied mutual infatuation between both Jehnna and Conan. Taramis raises and walks over to Conan in the script, however in the movie she does it to Bombaata. Also, she never gives that death to Conan order to Bombaata in the bed Chamber, that happens later, and she gave it to Togra.

Right after that conjuring Jehnna back to sleep, both Conan and Taramis walk out of the bed chamber and back into the Dagoth room, and there's that sex scene between the two.

So perhaps this was all cut out and deleted and the Bombaata only scene was a reshoot that took its place by being inserted? It would make sense because Conan was useless and forgotten about at that brief part during this important scene, suing the movie's version, what was he doing outside the Bed chamber? Struggling to put on his fur condom, with his pud in his hand waiting for Taramis to come back to him? (nah, that always struke me as dumb part, but with the script it makes sense and seems right) Also, he could have heard everything, if he was just standing at the opposite side of the door, where she was standing, delivering very loudly her lines of killing Conan, like it's no secret. SO IT DOES NOT ADD UP!

Here's the added dialogue after putting Jehnna back to sleep, she gives to Conan:

Taramis
On Jehnna's birthday, six days from now,
there will be the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter,
the greatest and most sovereign conjunction of the
seven planets. And on that day a prophet and
king will come to life before us.


(cont'd)
A Golden Age will begin. A time of power and plenty.
The new king will sit upon the throne and
I will sit beside him. And you, Conan,
will make it possible. On that day, two lives will be restored.


(then)
We must rest now.

Taramis
Look at me. Look closely.


Then she morphs into Valeria and they have sex.

Cuts to the morning with Conan and the others are mounting up then them riding off into the distance. The Courtyard - the Queen address the FOUR ELITE. She address the leader TOGRA and remarks:

Taramis
When the key is in my niece's hand, I want your
sword in Conan's heart. Kill his friend, too.


Togra
Why not wait until he has the treasure?

Taramis
The King of Thieves? No. Once Jehnna
has the key, nothing will happen that you
and Bombaata cannot deal with. But no
harm must come to the girl. She must
still be a Virgin when she is brought back to me.
Bombaata will see to that, if you should think to forget it.
After them. Do not fail me.


Akiro is still in his desert hut, same place as in CONAN THE BARBARIAN. (This scene could have been filmed in the desert, same as where they filmed the Mammoth skeleton... Dunno no!) Also Valeria's Shrine is still supposed to be the same, but even in the script there's no real description of the Mounds.

Zula was basically the same, she had a better backstory, she was hired by another village to rescue some children this village she raided with her mercenary tribesmen kidnapped. And she actually killed those men that were tormenting her when she was unchained by Conan. The villagers are seen in the script giving chase, riding out after Conan & company. But Conan etc outride them and that's it.

Interestingly, Thoth-Amon was always watching them. He sees Conan freeing Akiro and senses the Wizard's power. Thoth had a bigger part during those scenes too.

The missing scene from the trailer is here, the Jehnna frightened awaking at the ruins near Thoth-Amon's Crystal Palace, because she hears Zula practicing her new stick, it makes a whistling sound through the air as she swings it around. Most likely Jehnna's nightmare wasn't filmed. She tells her story, Conan and Akiro don't believe it was dream.

The Crystal Palace is described as an extinct volcano. The land that which surround the water is pitted and cratered, kind of resembling the "moon's" landscape. Thoth-Amon is described as lean, hawk nosed and brown skinned (very much like Howard's Stygians/Egyptians). He would have been watching their every move since Conan left Shadizar via the Heart of Arhriman, which he took out of a chest. He had a bigger part, more elaborate. So there are 3 wizards that want the girl and be the one to bring back Dagoth: the Black Leader, Thoth-Amon and Taramis... They're prepped because of the prophecy.

Malak when jumps in takes to a smaller pair of ores and helps row, Conan gets behind the main set of ores, Bombaata is the one that pushes the boat into the water. The characters in the script are not nearly as useless/pointless they're portrayed in the movie, with Conan doing most of the work and showing off his strength and Body (undoubtedly a Fleischer change).

Akiro does his trace to look for another entrance. He points down, underwater the other way in. Same as the movie. They swim through some kind of underwater horizontal pipe. When they come from the water, they see the corkscrew staircase. There was no super-Wizard Akiro in this script... He's pretty natural-like. Conan isn't really Superman either. Seems this was Fleischer's doing. The bending of the bars at the end was really the best show of strength for Conan, and he put all his might and strain into bending them with much difficulty.


Last edited by on Tue 25 Sep - 19:57; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: CONTINUED   Tue 25 Sep - 19:40

There is some dialogue between Thoth-Amon and Conan present, not in the film:

Conan walks toward the silver chest, drawn by the ruby-red glow. The image of Thoth-Amon appears.

Thoth-Amon
I thank you for bringing the girl to me, Conan.
Now your journey is over.


Featuring Conan.

CONAN
Not yet. Where is Jehnna?

Thoth-Amon
Safe with me. But you, you are not safe.


Then the mirrors are to be revealed with the red warriors behind them. While he speaks, his voice seems to come from all the mirrors at once.

Thoth-Amon
(laughing)
Come to me.


Then the Red-Robed hooded figures walk out of the mirrors, and the rest happens like seen in the film.

Conan fought like a maniac, when he fought the Man-Ape, went into a berserker like blood rage, just crazy. He taunts the Man-Ape a lot while he is slashing through the mirrors. Actually, as soon as Thoth-Amon first turns into the ape and tears off the red robe and growls, Conan says to it holding his sword, "Come on then." That was a cool part. (It actually reminded me of Obi-Wan vs Grievous in REVENGE OF THE SITH, I wonder if Lucas borrowed this too?)

Thoth-Amon's death here is slighty different. After Conan launches his sword like a spear through the mirrow, Thoth then walks out, and touches the Heart, he lights up, light burst through him (like in the movie), however his body is flung back, becoming living light, the light darkens, reddening, becoming liquid. His shape holds for a moment, like a figure made of congealed blood. Then the figure of blood collapses, becomes a puddle on the floor, as heated, boils and dries up and disappears.

Conan refuses Jehnna's advances, just friendly flirtations. She was a horny bitch though. But Conan wants only Valeria. He makes a comment about "others" but there only being one Valeria. (But he did have heavy sex with Taramis.)

Conan kills Togra by breaking his neck... as the two warriors where evenly matched. They disarm eachother, Conan gets a good hold around Togra's neck and snaps it.

Akiro's deleted piece of the writing on the wall!

Akiro
...then took place a great battle between the gods, and in this battle Dagoth was disarmed of his horn. And thus weakened, he was flung to earth, and his horn after him. Into the primeval slime he sank, and for a thousand years he lay in death and his body turned to stone, and the stone turned to marble. But his horn had fallen in another place...


Then he read the jewels on the wall, which are set up like astrology chart.

Malak
(to Akiro)
What does this mean?

Akiro
Wait, wait.


The Crypt guards and their leader were black men in the script... slightly different set up. Conan was to have just arrogantly twirling his medallion while Akiro was talking the leader, like he couldn't wait to kill someone, the talk was boring him.

Malak mentions the city which sent them to the Black Leader, he blurted it, because he has big mouth, Zula mumbles "you idiot" and Malak tries to save face by saying not that Shadizar, the other Shadizar, its sister city. I think this may have been a comical reference to CONAN THE BARBARIAN actually.

There's just the main entrance door to the Jade Palace... which Conan pushes open. Akiro was not the one that forces the Dragon's Mouth closed, it was Conan using all his might to bring down the Mouth. And while the Black warriors were stabbing underneath, as the jaw is half way down but stuck, Conan was chopping at their hands, breaks their wrists, arrows being shot at him. He finally gives it all he's got, and it slams shut.

During the middle of the story, Taramis lubes up the statue, then calls in her handmaiden. Taramis kisses the girl, then cuts the girls throat and smears her blood all over Dagoth's mouth. Then she starts having sex with the Statue!

Jehnna's breast gets bare at least twice in the script, to expose her birth mark (it glows at one point). Once, she's almost completely naked with the Crypt scene (which there was Stout artwork of). I like the part where Jehnna is dressing Conan's wounds, and Bombaata become enraged. Conan laughs him because Jehnna was touching him, he wasn't touching her.

Also interesting, Taramis asks Bombaata after he brings Jehnna back what happened to her Elite Guards. Bombaata says they're dead, she then asks figures Conan lives. Bombaata confirms it. Taramis then backhands Bombaata across the face. Bombaata doesn't move. This scene reminded much of "Bavmorda and General Kael after he fails to find the baby" (from WILLOW).

Once (also interesting) Conan's medallion flickers-gleams when he approaches Shadizar to save the Princess near the end.

Dagoth is a ten foot tall gargoyle-like creature, bird beaked and has giant claws, even clawed wings. Conan gets torn up and bit when fighting this creature. The Dagoth creature prototypes never worked and so they decided on that Lovecraftian thingy, right? I don't think the Flying Dagoth could have worked effect wise back in those days anyway... The Beast With Three Eyes wasn't that bad, least not any worse than the Giant Snake in all honesty.

Akiro also takes a part in attacking Dagoth to save Conan, while he's getting strangled by the beast.

After Conan slays Dagoth and Malak stabs it again, we see something shining as bright as the Sun, as the camera falls backs, it's really Conan's Medallion glowing, then the awesome close triumphant shot of Conan.

So Conan Medallion had a significant part, it seemed to Conan that Valeria was inside it kind of. Very interesting, but yet it was completely deleted in the film, replaced with the gold Wheel of Pain.

Jehnna
Rule Shadizar with me.

Conan
I will have my own kingdom, my own queen.

Jehnna
(very quietly)
Valeria is dead. Taramis lied to you.

Conan
She may have lied, to say that she would bring her back to me. But Valeria waits for me, and I wait for her.


The movie was to end with Conan going back to the Shrine of Valeria... where he places the medallion (the Eye of the Serpent) from his neck to rest on the Shrine... and where he says, "Soon."

Then it ends with a camera fading out where we see Conan kneeling once again to the Shrine, same as he did at the beginning of the movie.





It was pretty good read, wasn't that bad. Lot of action and more blood, though it mostly played out the same way. However, the film was cut and lower budgeted. Lots of cut dialogue, etc.

Conan instead of coming off as a rather oblivious limp hulking dumb clown as seen in the film, is actually driven by passion, love, his need and greed to see Valeria live again and still being under partly the influence of the witch Taramis' spell. This never resonates in the film, but in the script it's present. So there's this other dimension that's not seen as it should.

According to that other jackass Roy Thomas, he said that Stanley Mann ruined his script supposedly... But, really, nothing was gone... You still have a solid R-rated picture, even with Mann's handling, which didn't at all seem heavy handed or dumbed down as claimed by Thomas.

Thomas lambasted Milius script and movie... but before he was all to happy. I don't trust nor like Thomas either.

What's also interesting... Valeria, the Medallion and her resurrection are present here... Meanwhile, Milius incorporated this theme in his KING CONAN: CROWN OF IRON script along with Akiro in 2001. I'm sure he read this script .

Personally I think Milius wanted more Money and balked once he wasn't getting his dough. I think he ordered the CONAN II/KULL scripts to read while he was making his story up. Seeing that "A Witch Shall Be Born" again resonates even in his early KING CONAN script. Evil Witch Queen orders and manipulates Conan, promising things, sends him on quest to procure something, the resurrected Valeria... Yeah, far to coincidental in my opinion.

Biggest thing was once the movie lost Milius, as he picked-up and left to go do his own thing whatever that was, the movie was rushed into production, lost Cobb, or he didn't want to back, guess at that time he thought he had E.T. ...but more importantly, most of the fonds were deviated to David Lynch's DUNE. So that's where CONAN II budget went off to.

The Robert Jordan novelization shares certain similarities but it really strays, often far. For instance, there is no love between Bombaata and Jehnna. Bombaata is more like just the Jealous/Protector with perhaps less honorable thoughts in mind. There's no hint of molestation. As I said earlier, there's a Nude Jehnna (topless at least twice in the script). Jade Temple is guarded by Black Warriors with a Black Wizard. There is no duel of Wizards either; as I mentioned, it's Conan that brings down the Dragon's mouth with brute strength.

--- Cromulus
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review   Sat 20 Oct - 0:05

Very interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review   Sat 20 Oct - 1:11

Ed Summer in Oui Magazine hinted at Conan squaring off against another Stygian Wizard who will be the main villain for CONAN II, and Sandahl Bergman in Prevue expressed interest in returning as Belit. It wouldve been interesting to know if Milius and Summer had some kinda outline planed for CONAN II, my guess is that they did. Supposedly Milius had in his brain, an outline of 3 movies.. but possible 5 movies were open for Arnold.
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review   Mon 22 Oct - 14:06

Cromulus The Destroyer wrote:
Supposedly Milius had in his brain, an outline of 3 movies..

Like G. Lucas, which had always planned the Star Wars as a series of films... Hey, look, I just found another Conan/Star Wars connection ! Mr. Green king
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PostSubject: Re: CONAN THE DESTROYER Script Review   Mon 22 Oct - 14:51

HAHHA, yeah he was inconsistant , and I doubt he ever had a solid outline for Star Wars at any time. The basis for his CONAN is still Stone's, so yeah I would agree that Milius, especially 20 years later, didnt have a story in mind.

I really want to read Summer/Thomas treatment, and want to know if Stone worked off of that as well, my guess is that he did. Whats interesting also is that "A Witch Shall Be Born" was the main theme for the entire theatrical series, CONAN(Stone), CONAN(Milius) and CONAN II(Thomas/Conway).
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