It’s Officially The 1980s … At Least For Action Heroes

Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to 'Conan' and the brand-new 'Die Hard' trailer prove we're on the brink of an '80s-action-movie comeback.

How do you prefer your action hero? Do you like the angsty, sleeker Jason Bourne-type? Or are you a purist? Only the bulging muscles and quippy kills of the 1980s will do for you. Give me your Stallones and Schwarzeneggers. Spare me your Renners and Damons, right?

If that’s the case, Thursday must have been one hell of a ride for you.

Allow us to recap: First, a new trailer for “A Good Day to Die Hard” dropped yesterday, and for the first time gave us some hope that this could resemble a proper “Die Hard” movie, beyond starring Bruce Willis as some guy named John McClane. We’re obviously going to reserve our judgment, but as an odd-number “Die Hard” movie, there may be hope yet for the 007 of Plainfield, New Jersey.

Then, Deadline dropped a fur-lined bombshell on us that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be returning as Conan in “The Legend of Conan.” If that concept alone doesn’t crush your enemies, listen to how producer Fredrik Malmberg describes the reboot. “The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” he said. “It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.” Yes.

With all of this news, “The Last Stand” coming in January and Schwarzenegger tweeting this picture from the set of “Ten,” it’s high time we wonder when 80s action returned in such a big way. Perhaps we are just now seeing the fruits of the Stallone Renaissance of the late aughts, when he took back his title belt with “Rocky Balboa” and “Rambo,” which, of course, led to the first “Expendables.”

No doubt, the end of Schwarzenegger’s governorship in California and his return to acting full-time factored into the comeback for both him and the genre he shaped. The returns began as a trickle, but we are now at the base of a wave of actioners coming from Schwarzenegger.

Bourne may have defined action for a decade, but the genre has doubled back on itself recently. Whether this is just a nostalgic kick or a sign of things to come, any old-school action fan should revel in the slate for 2013 and the near future, because it’s starting to look like the good old days.

Who’s your favorite 1980s action hero? Leave your comment below!


Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.
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