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Untold Tales of Hollywood #55

Me at work in Mexico City on Conan the Destroyer.

In preparing for this series, I found a note I had written to Raffaella DeLaurentiis. I thought you might find it interesting. It was written just prior to my grand faux pas of passing out my own script rewrite at that first Conan 2 team meeting.

“Dear Raffaella,
I would ask a tremendous favor of you. Let me re-write the Conan script. As it is now, it’s a “Hercules movie” script. It is not Conan. It is very 1950s. It has no surprises. Let me fill it with surprises. It has poor structure. Let me give it structure. Let me make it into a Conan script that contains all the savage grace, exotic atmosphere and magic of Conan.
I would keep the characters and locations, so as not to disrupt the design work and construction that has been done.
I will not ask for credit.
I will not ask for extra money.
I only ask that you give me 10 one-half working days to do it in and that you continue my pay as it now is.
I would work on art the first half of each day and the script on the second half. In 10 working days, or less (hopefully in just one week), you would have my script.I would work weekends on my own time on the script, also.
If this is too bold, try me for four days and see what you get. If it displeases you, fine. If not, then I proceed.
I offer this in deepest respect for you and for the stories and characters created by Robert E. Howard.
Wm Stout”

Obviously, my bold proposal was ignored.

Also in my digging, I found some photos from the day Jack Palance came into the Conan the Barbarian offices when we were considering him for the role of Conan’s father.

Jack Palance grips the famous Conan sword.

Jack argued that he should be given the role of Conan. I’m not sure that Jack understood we weren’t about to fire Arnold.

Me, Jack Palance and the sword.

I personally thought that a twenty years younger Jack Palance would have made a perfect Conan. In fact, check out my comic book page storyboards for the opening sequence where you might notice that in a few panels I drew Jack as Conan’s father. Palance was so insistent on playing Conan, however, that he lost the role of Conan’s father to William Smith, another casting choice I had the boldness to insist upon.

I also found a couple of photos from the first day I met Arnold Schwarzenegger:

From L to R: Unknown, Ron Cobb, unknown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, unknown, John Milius, William Stout, Buzz Feitshans. Who is 6’3″?
Arnold and me sword fighting.

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