Comic take comes ahead of next summer's feature reboot

The reboot of “Conan the Barbarian” won’t do battle at the box office until next summer, but for now, Paradox Entertainment is pairing up with “Robot Chicken’s” scribes and other comics to present a lighter side of the sword-wielding conqueror with a comedic Web series.

“Age of Conan: Hyboria!” will mix animated sequences and character moves from the popular massively multiplayer online game “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” with dialogue penned by various writers.

Idea is similar to the fan-made hybrid “Red vs. Blue,” which proved an online hit for Microsoft’s “Halo” franchise and helped promote the games.

In this case, the Web series will help spotlight Paradox’s game and the upcoming film, out Aug. 19, produced with Millennium Films and distributed by Lionsgate.

First episode is penned by Mike Fasolo, a writer on Cartoon Network’s “Robot Chicken.” Comedian Harland Williams (“Dumb and Dumberer,” “Half-Baked”) will voice one of the characters, as will Dan Milano (“Robot Chicken,” “Greg the Bunny”). Milano is also directing the first installment.

Gudrun Giddings, VP of business development at Paradox, is producing the project with prexy-CEO Fredrik Malmberg.

Funcom developed the “Conan: Hyborian Adventures” PC game and released it in 2008. That was one of the latest moves Paradox has made to exploit the “Conan” property across various entertainment platforms since landing the entertainment rights to author Robert E. Howard’s characters, which also include Kull, Dark Agnes, Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane. Paradox is also behind the planned return of “Buck Rogers” to the bigscreen.

In October, Giddings also helped set up an adaptation of the motion comicbook “Conan: The Savage Tales” that Double Barrel Motion Labs will release on DVD next year as a prequel to the Marcus Nispel-helmed film.

“Collaborating with Funcom on the Web series is a great experience,” Malmberg said. “We are lucky to have the unique blend of Mike Fasolo’s edgy comedic talent set in the spectacular world of one of the most successful MMO games released in recent years.”

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