Yakin to write, direct 'Conan'

Looking to re-establish Conan as more than a chat host, Warner Bros. has set Boaz Yakin to write and potentially direct “Conan the Barbarian,” a new take on the Robert E. Howard-created character.

WB is eyeing an early 2007 production start for the film, which will be produced by Irving Azoff, Jon Jashni, Richard Alexander and Akiva Goldsman. Peter Sederowsky and Fredrik Malmberg of Paradox Entertainment, the intellectual property company that controls rights to the Howard estate, exec produce.

Yakin, best known for writing and directing “Fresh” and for directing the gridiron hit “Remember the Titans,” has been a fan of the Howard series since childhood and came up with a take that impressed the studio.

Yakin’s concept is more faithful to the Howard story than were the two Dino De Laurentiis-produced “Conan” films that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as the sword-wielding conqueror.

WB has tried diligently to revive Conan and got close twice. “The Matrix” directors Larry and Andy Wachowski circled, and then Robert Rodriguez emerged, but hiring the latter became problematic after he quit the Directors Guild of America so he could co-helm “Sin City” with Frank Miller.

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