So it looks like business is definitely about to pick up. Oh wait - did you forget where our story takes place? This is Hollywood and you can damn well bet they will screw this up. Milius delivered a 180-page beast of a screenplay in February 2001 entitled KING CONAN: CROWN OF IRON. According to reviews that can be found online (type “King Conan” + “review” in Google), the basic plot has Conan ascending to the throne and then dealing with politics and power. In addition, he ruminates about his lost love for battle and the estranged relationship with his warrior son Kon. The script got rave reviews from Conan and Arnold fans for its dramatic take on the aging Conan and WB seemed to be fully behind the project. Rumored to be up for the role of Kon were flavors of the month The Rock (fall of 2001) and Vin Diesel (spring 2002).
Warner Bros. decided to lay the fate of the KING CONAN project on the box office take of their upcoming summer Schwarzenegger release TERMINATOR 3 (2003). Despite making $433 million worldwide, the film wasn’t considered a success and talk of KING CONAN cooled again. The project took a major hit on August 6, 2003 when Schwarzengger announced on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that he was running for Governor of California given the inevitable recall of Gray Davis. Yes, the guy who made a career of flexing his muscles and delivering one liners was now running for the most important office in the state. Even sadder? He won in October 2003! Around January 2004 the Wachowski brothers officially left the project as well. No doubt they were no longer the hot commodities at WB after the MATRIX sequels “underperformed” artistically and financially (only in Hollywood can the $1 billion worldwide gross of the combined sequels be see as bad news).