Brett Ratner Not Directing 'Conan' . . . At The Moment

'Conan'It seems you can't believe much of anything you read these days. According to the LA Times, Monday's story that Ratner was set to direct Lionsgate's "Conan" reboot was premature. Producer Avi Lerner admitted that he had released the story to the trades before the deal was done.

"We still have a few obstacles," said Lerner. "Brett is only committed if we agree on a budget, on how to do the special effects and exactly where we'd shoot the film."

But Ratner insists negotiations are preliminary, and is annoyed he has been linked to the film so definitively.

"Let me make this very clear. I am not doing 'Conan' now. This is totally premature," stated Ratner. "For now, 'Conan' is only a development deal. I have a deal at Paramount and I'm doing 'Beverly Hills Cop [4]' first, no matter what. Avi shouldn't be telling you or anyone else in the press what I'm doing."

Even Paramount is upset about the "Conan" deal, as it puts their schedule and plans for "Beverly Hills Cop 4" in a bit of jeopardy. Ratner's involvement hinges entirely on whether Lerner is willing to wait for him to complete his Beverly Hills installment -- and Lerner is so eager to get "Conan" up and running that he may be announcing another director by the time you read this.

In the meantime, he's looking for his Conan, who he wants to be a "younger Arnold Schwarzenegger, someone we could sign to a three- or four-picture deal." That didn't stop him from approaching Arnold, however -- Lerner offered him $1 million for a one-day cameo, and Schwarzenegger didn't say yes ... but he didn't say no, either. So, what you can take from the saga of the Barbarian this week is that he's lost in a worlds of maybes.

So is this follow-up news good or bad for Conan fans? Let us know what you think in the comments!