Cocaine the Barbarian: Oliver Stone's Drug-Fueled, Four-Hour Conan Epic That Never Was

40 years in the past, the unlikely appearing profession of then-bodybuilding champion Arnold Schwarzenegger went off with a bang in Conan the Barbarian (1982). Based on Robert E. Howard’s character of the identical identify from Thirties pulp magazines, Arnold’s epic sword and sorcery movie was helmed by writer-director John Milius, the militant filmmaker greatest identified for writing the Oscar-nominated screenplay Apocalypse Now (1979) for fellow “Movie Brat” Francis Ford Coppola. But ultimately, Milius would share a co-screenwriting credit score on Conan the Barbarian with Oliver Stone.

Stone penned an earlier draft in 1978 as the primary of a number of studio assignments that will sooner or later really feel out of step with the politically-charged writer-director the world would quickly rejoice for movies like Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), and JFK (1991). At the time, his Conan the Barbarian script was titled merely as Conan. But the title is nearly the one factor easy about this early draft.

Charles Bronson was initially the front-runner to star because the titular barbarian. But after watching a tough reduce of docudrama Pumping Iron (1977), the unique Conan producers Edward R. Pressman and Edward Summer knew that they had discovered their man. With a godlike physique that received him the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competitors six years in a row, Schwarzenegger embodied Conan as shut as humanly potential. With his lengthy brunet hair and leather-based headband, he appeared as if he had stepped proper off the pages of the Marvel Comics run from the Nineteen Seventies.

In spite of Schwarzenegger’s uncanny bodily resemblance to the Conan character, there was one little snag. No one doubted he had the look. But many concerned within the undertaking had their reservations about Arnold’s molasses-thick Austrian accent. At the time it appeared to Schwarzenegger that every one of Hollywood shared this chilly apprehension. Speaking to GQ in 2019 about his most iconic characters, Schwarzenegger stated:

Luckily there have been just a few gamers in Hollywood who did imagine within the Austrian bodybuilder’s potential as a number one man. Among those that by no means doubted Schwarzenegger was the Conan screenwriter Oliver Stone. In his autobiography Chasing the Light (2020), Stone stated:

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