The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Brett Ratner is in final negotiations to take on directorial chores for Nu Image/Millennium’s long in development Conan film. Based on the series of stories by pulp author Robert E. Howard, the script is by Sahara and A Sound Of Thunder scribes Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly. The two writers are reportedly working on a quick polish of the screenplay to incorporate some of Ratner’s ideas. Why don’t I like the sound of that?
Meanwhile, Ratner is also pushing Paramount Studios to give him the go-ahead for Beverly Hills Cop 4, with Eddie Murphy to return to the franchise that launched his film career in the 1980s. A script for the project is currently being worked on by Wanted screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas.
The Reporter’s story also states that while Conan is closer to getting greenlit, Beverly Hills Cop 4 is actually the film more likely to go into production first, based on Murphy’s limited availability and Paramount’s desire for a summer 2010 tentpole film.
As for what Ratner may have planned for Conan, I think my good friend Rich Z., who works as a movie projectionist, summed it up best when he promised, “If Chris Tucker shows up in this, I am going to burn the print right on the platter!”
No mention has been made to any of the other projects that Ratner has been tied to recently – adaptations of the comic book Harbinger and the video game God Of War and a remake of The Incredible Shrinking Man – so perhaps they’ve been spared the pain of his hamfisted directorial “style.”