Frank Darabont Wants Jon Bernthal For ‘Smart’ ‘Conan’

Frank Darabont and Jon Bernthal define the term “bromance.” They worked on “The Walking Dead” together. After Darabont was fired, Berthnal also left the AMC series to work on “L.A. Noir” with him. And now, in a new interview, Darabont admits that he thinks Bernthal would be perfect as the lead in the “Conan the Barbarian” movie he’d like to make.

“I talked to Bernthal about that very thing just a couple of months ago,” Darabont told io9. “I would still do a Conan movie! It would be an incredibly smart one. Because he could play what we’ve missed in Conan today on the screen. He’s got some wit and he’s got some intelligence. He’s a canny, wily, brutal guy. Bernthal could play that, he really could.”

That doesn’t sound like something Arnold Schwarzenegger would be too happy to hear. People already tried and failed to revive Conan, and instead Schwarzenegger will return to the franchise in a “300”-style sequel called “The Legend of Conan.” That hasn’t stopped Darabont from dreaming about how he’d make his “smart” take on the story, though.

“You go back to Robert E. Howard, there’s a lot of heart there and a lot of mysticism and a lot of questing and yearning in that character,” Darabont teased. “How do you make a smart Conan anything? You do what Dark Horse did with their series of comics. They went back to Robert E. Howard, and they have one of the smartest adaptations of Conan. And that’s how you do it smart, it’s been done.”

Would you like to see Darabont’s take on “Conan the Barbarian”? Do you agree with him that Bernthal would make a good Conan? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!