Presumably, everyone goes into a remake with only the best of intentions. When filmmakers set out to redo a beloved film from decades prior, they want to craft something that honors the original while also standing out on its own merits. Alas, that’s not a fate that befalls most remakes. Indeed, it’s hard for even the most knowledgeable film fans to think of many remakes that lived up to — or surpassed — their predecessors, and 2011’s Conan the Barbarian, a remake of John Milius’ 1982 epic of the same name, simply didn’t compare to the original. While Jason Momoa, the star of this well-publicized flop, has certainly moved on to many other notable and exciting projects, he still harbors negative feelings towards this movie’s disappointing execution.
In a recent interview with GQ, Momoa detailed his rise as a blockbuster A-list movie star, particularly with his titular part in Aquaman and the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, along with his recent standout supporting turn in last year’s Dune. The actor has had quite a run of late, and that’ll continue with his villainous role in Fast X, which he’s filming at the moment. But it hasn’t been an easy journey.
Most notably, Momoa was at the center of Conan the Barbarian, which became one of the biggest critical and commercial disasters of 2011. Coming off the success of Game of Thrones, this epic misfire wasn’t exactly a great way for the action actor to prove himself as a Hollywood leading man. As it turns out, the movie’s own star is one of its biggest, most unflinching critics. He even went so far as to call it “a big pile of shit” that “really sucked.” While he claims that there are other projects of his that also fall into this camp, Conan the Barbarian was the one that he felt compelled to single out:
“I’ve been a part of a lot of things that really sucked, and movies where it’s out of your hands. Conan [the Barbarian] was one of them. It’s one of the best experiences I had and it [was] taken over and turned into a big pile of shit.”
While many folks aren’t quick to praise this bungled blockbuster, those are some pretty harsh words from the movie’s leading man. Of course, the sting of that film’s failure will linger with Momoa more than it will for anyone in the audience. As he notes, Momoa considers the remake’s mistakes to lie in the edit and “out of [his] hands” as an actor. While he didn’t specify why he is, personally, so disappointed in how the film turned out, anyone who saw the movie could comment on the various ways it became a big blunder.
Nevertheless, while not fondly remembered, Conan the Barbarian did provide some valuable lessons for the actor, particularly as he takes a bigger hand in his own projects moving forward. The actor notes that he’ll be writing in addition to starring in The Last Manhunt, a murder-filled western that’ll show us what the A-list actor can do and how he can expand himself, and he has a variety of other projects in store — which he’ll produce in addition to star in. Suffice it to say, the disappointment of Conan the Barbarian is hopefully long behind him now. But it doesn’t sound like it’ll be one that the star will forget anytime soon.