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Meet the new Conan

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on June 21, 2009

kickinger and Schwarzenegger

kickinger and Schwarzenegger

By Steven Zeitchik and Nellie Andreeva

   Lionsgate and Nu Image/Millennium, the two companies behind the Conan reboot, might have found their new Conan — and he bears striking similarities to the old Conan.

The companies are in talks with a 41-year-old Austrian actor named Roland Kickinger to play the title role that Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous in the 1982 classic “Conan the Barbarian.”

   There are more than a few eerie parallels between the personalities.

Like Schwarzenegger, Kickinger is a bodybuilder- turned-actor from the Central European country.

   Like the California governor, he also had a role as a T-800 in the “Terminator” franchise (in Warner Bros.’ current “Terminator Salvation”).

And in a you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up turn, Kickinger actually played a Conan-era version of Schwarzenegger in “See Arnold Run,” the 2005 A&E biopic about the actor-turned-politician.

   Universal’s original “Conan,” which vaulted Schwarzenegger to fame and a slew of action tentpoles, follows a man who seeks revenge on the person who sold him into slavery.

  Few details on the new pic have been revealed, though the character is expected to be given a polish, with the filmmakers drawing influences from more recent action pics. Shooting will begin in the fall at Avi Lerner’s Bulgaria-based studio. Marcus Nispel, who helmed New Line’s “Friday the 13th” reboot, is set to direct.

   No word on whether Arnold will make a cameo — or on whether Kickinger will run for governor.

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