It certainly seems like the Powers That Be in Hollywood have recently discovered the works of pulp writer Robert E. Howard judging by the number of projects based on his creations that are currently in development. His most famous creation, Conan, is on track for a film next year; though no writer, director or cast have been hired, so take with an appropriate sized grain of salt. Robert Rodriguez has been working on a new film version of Howard’s sword-wielding beauty Red Sonja, while his Solomon Kane character currently has a feature film in production for release next year starring James Purefoy.
The latest Howard creation to be heading towards the silver screen is Thulsa Doom. Some will probably remeber the character as the evil sorcerer that Arnold Schwarzenegger faced off against in 1982’s Conan The Barbarian. Screenwriter John Milius actually appropriated the character from Howard’s other barbarian hero series of stories, Kull. (Kull himself was turned into a film in 1997, but the less said about it the better.)
Spearheading the project is actor Djimon Hounsou, who had been hinting for a while that he was developing a film based on a property that would excite comics fans. Well, Houson is partnered with comics publisher Dynamite Entertainment, who, not-so-coincidentally, are launching a Thulsa Doom comic sometime next year. But is this a project that comics fans have been clamoring for? Not this comics fan, at least.
Although the project is not yet set up at a studio and no screenwriter or director have been hired, Houson states that the film will chart the downfall of the once heroic Doom to the evil sorcerer known in the Howard stories. Sounds sort of Star Wars prequel-ish to me. Here’s hoping he has better luck.