The game of prestige fantasy series continues.
Deadline reports Netflix has picked up the television rights to Conan the Barbarian. The project will be a production of Pathfinder Media as part of a deal between Netflix and Conan Properties International. The relationship also gives Netflix the “exclusive option to acquire rights to the Conan literary library and develop works across TV and film, both live-action and animated.” So, expect an announcement about a Red Sonja project in the months ahead. Fredrik Malmberg — who happens to have a large stake in both Pathfinder Media and Conan Properties — and Mark Wheeler are set to be executive producers.
But in a curious twist, Conan was slated to be a television series over on Amazon for the last couple of years. That plan seemed to go by the wayside once that service secured The Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time — leaving Robert E. Howard‘s Cimmerian abandoned even as the other two shows ramped toward production.
Now, Conan has changed hands in an apparent arms race for the next great prestige fantasy series. Netflix has an early lead with The Witcher, but The Boys also illustrates that Amazon could do great things with genre. Indeed, Conan, LOTR, and The Wheel of Time were gobbled up during a buying frenzy as Amazon began to cancel idiosyncratic dramas like Mozart in the Jungle and move toward finding a Game of Thrones level hit. The service also picked up the rights to sci-fi novel series like Gateway and Neal Stephenson‘s Snow Crash around the same time.
As for Netflix’s Conan, the search is on for a lead creative who can turn the Hyborian Age into something subscribers will want to see.
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