Today's Variety reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed to star in two potential 'franchise' properties for Warner Brothers, one of which will find Arnold reprising his 1982 role as Conan the Barbarian. The other potential 'franchise' picture is a remake of Westworld, the 1973 film set in an amusement park in which the lifelike robots dressed and outfitted like the bandits and gunfighters of the old west go berserk with deadly results. Arnold will play the role of the black clad robot gunfighter that Yul Brynner portrayed in the original. In the new Conan film, Arnold will return as the sword-wielding Cimmerian in a new epic adventure that will be written by John Milius, who penned the script for the 1982 Conan film.
In addition to signing Arnold for these two key projects, Warner Brothers will be distributing Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine. The studio's current plans have Terminator 3, with production starting very soon in L.A., appearing first followed by Westworld and then the new Conan film. The rights to the new Conan saga came to Warner Brothers in a deal with Stan Lee Media, which controls the rights to the Robert E. Howard-created Conan character. Stan Lee will serve as Executive Producer on the new Conan film, which will, according to Variety, team Arnold with a younger swordsman. The potential revival of the Conan franchise is one of the benefits of the recent success of the first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has piqued Hollywood's interest in all sorts of epic fantasy projects.