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Quint interviews Thulsa Doom!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Comic-Con has started a week early for me. All last week I’ve been rushing to finalize Con interviews and schedules as well as dealing with a lot of pre-con stories that’ll be going up. I have worked out a nice exclusive little bit with Marvel about a certain book adaptation they’re doing where you’ll get exclusive art and interviews with the guys behind the scenes and then this fell into my lap. I was offered an interview with an unknown person who was attached to an unknown comic property. I had to agree to interview this person before I would be told who it was and what the property was. The announcement would be made Sunday night and the idea was to do the interview Saturday and run it Monday morning. Lucky for me it was an interesting actor doing an interesting project. Below you’ll find my very short chat with Djimon Hounsou about Thulsa Doom. There are no writers signed and no director attached, so there wasn’t much to talk to about the production side, so you’ll see we focus more on why Hounsou wants to do this character and where he’ll start off with him. Enjoy the chat!



Quint: Hey, how is it going man?

Djimon Hounsou: Good. How are you doing man?

Quint: I’m doing very well. I heard the news, congratulations!

Djimon Hounsou: Oh, thank you. I’m very excited.

Quint: I only know the character of Thulsa Doom really from James Earl Jones’s portrayal of him. I have read some Robert E. Howard, but not a whole lot. I actually just read a lot of SOLOMON KANE recently, but I love the little bit I have read, so you are going to have to fill me in a little bit on Thulsa Doom as a character and what attracted you to him.



Djimon Hounsou: Well, the argument I think is the most exciting to see as a human being is how one gets so devoted to his people to a point that they go as a far as selling their own souls for the sake of their people. That’s what I think was intriguing about Thulsa Doom, so basically the film will showcase on the origins of the flawed hero and show how his road to hell was paved by the goodness and good intentions for his people.

Quint: Yeah, you are hitting at the right spot now. With the success already of THE DARK KNIGHT, very much a lot of the central themes of that are personal choice and having to make the wrong choice for the right reasons, you know?

Djimon Hounsou: Right. Exactly! The wrong choices for the right reasons, but I say are they justified? Are those reasons justifiable, you know? Obviously that’s for the audience to look at it and see to what extent it is okay. I think that is just sort of pieces that happen, I feel, in third world countries, political attribute to the people in third world countries. They just came out of colonization, they are trying to… The locals of third world countries were basically like caged animals and after a period of time, when an animal has been caged for a period of time, when you let him loose they basically will go all crazy and all over the place, so you can’t really contain them if you had never given them freedom before, so now you are giving them freedom and then everybody is starting to want to do their own thing and it gets quite corrupted there a little bit and trying to cut down that corruption. The leaders are bad at those places with the treatment inflicted and to what or how they are trying their best to educate your people at the same time, you know, give the best a country has to offer, but at the same time not to sell yourself entirely. You get my point. I think it’s quite amazing to watch the evolution of under developed countries in the world. I think it’s quite amazing to see the conditioning of the human mind, so those are the some of aspects that I sort of drew on Thulsa Doom and I thought it would be quite an amazing story to uncover suddenly. It will be an exciting story to watch.

Quint: Since I’m not all that familiar with his back story, was he a sorcerer as well back during his fall?

Djimon Hounsou: Yes.

Quint: So then you are going to have a lot of fun with some pretty crazy fantasy elements I take it.

Djimon Hounsou: Oh yeah and I mean you have it all. You have the fantasy, you have the action, you have the character that is just so well driven and if you look… The way I always look at Thulsa Doom and suddenly the scope of Thulsa Doom, I always compare it to epic stories like BRAVEHEART and GLADIATOR or something like that, you know?

Quint: Sweet, so what stage are you guys at right now? You have the property optioned, do you have writers hired on yet?

Djimon Hounsou: Those things are somewhat in the works and I can’t tell you too much on that.

Quint: Of course.

Djimon Hounsou: But we are working! We won’t have something to show for some duration.

Quint: Do you think that you are going to go out to a director to help guide the screenwriting process or are you going to get the script first and then hire a director or do you know?

Djimon Hounsou: No no no, we are obviously going to have a script and then go for the top directors in the industry.

Quint: Very cool, well I… unless there’s an aspect of this that you don’t think that we have talked about, I think that’s about all I have for this early stage.

Djimon Hounsou: Yeah, and it is an early stage. Just be patient and you will know more about it shortly.



It’s very brief, I know, but I do appreciate Mr. Hounsou taking the time to chat with me a little about it. Hopefully we’ll get to talk again when… well, when there’s a little more to talk about. -Quint quint@aintitcool.com>



Readers Talkback
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  • July 21, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST

    interesting project

    by Sebilrazen

    I hope they treat it with respect and not just make in an SFX blitz.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:42 a.m. CST

    Give us us Free

    by therealkumar

  • July 21, 2008, 6:51 a.m. CST

    "Give us Freeee!!" is what I say when my daughter...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...shakes the bars of her crib and cries for nap time to be over..."GIVE US FREEEE!!. I know it's wrong. But I say it anyway. And I chuckle quietly to myself.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:53 a.m. CST

    philosophy of doom

    by SOHOMEMADEITHURTS

    Just make sure he speaks a bit truth... "Shall I tell you? It's the least I can do. Steel isn't strong, boy, flesh is stronger!"

  • July 21, 2008, 6:59 a.m. CST

    I honestly don't get it!

    by Samson_K

    Is Thulsa Doom really a compelling enough character to have his own movie?<BR><BR>I'm not by nature a cynical man but I honestly don't get this - it's kind of like - say before Superman Returns was made Rob Schneider had announced that he was doing a Mr Mxyzptlk movie - it seems a little bit like 'I'll make the movie so that when Conan inevitably comes along then I'll be guaranteed the part' - or something.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:06 a.m. CST

    He should get Milius the direct this

    by Beowulf316

    That would be awsome. Will this be a prequel to Conan the Barbarian because I think Thulsa Doom was a Kull character.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:18 a.m. CST

    I'm no exegete in Robert E Howard's work

    by SpencerTrilby

    but I sure hope they relaunch Conan with some decent budget, good director (please let the Hitman director at the doorstep. Please) and a ballsy rating. Conan the Barbarian was great, and that's a shame the saga ended that bad. I like Hounsou as an actor, so I guess it's good news even if he could be overselling it. Thanks for the heads up, Quint.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST

    I Say Good Luck To Him

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    It's definitely going to be hard work getting it made. But if you're an actor of African descent working in Hollywood, who isn't Will Smith or Denzel Washington, maybe you have to create your own leading roles?

  • July 21, 2008, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Could be a tough sell...

    by Sledge Hammer

    ...but if they get it right then it could also be pretty interesting. And how many movies do we get to see that focus on a villian, or villian-to-be anyway? And Hounsou is always great value in whatever he appears in, so it'd definitely be interesting to see him carrying a film in the lead role. <p>That said, with Dynamite involved I've gotta wonder if this isnt part of a long term crossover strategy. Dynamite have set up Thulsa Doom as Red Sonja's arch villian in their comics world, so with Dynamite also linked to the proposed Red Sonja film, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Thulsa made an appearance at the end of that film too (if it happens), setting up room for a Red Sonja vs Thulsa Doom sequel. See how things play out I guess...<p>Wonder when we'll hear some word about Solomon Kane, they should have finished shooting by now...

  • July 21, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Thulsa Doom/ Thoth Amon

    by DeckardBladeRunner

    Apparently there are no REH fans that work for AICN or posting on here. Thulsa Doom was a villain's name from the Kull the conquer series of less successful stories from Robert E.Howard. Thoth Amon was one of Conan's repeat enemies from stories such as "the god in the bowl", "hour of the dragon" and "phoenix on the sword. Anyway, to make a movie to flesh out this character makes no sense and would be of no interest to Conan fans who have become less accepting of what basically amounts to fan fiction that has the name "conan" slapped onto it. Give this a read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T hoth-Amon I forgot to add this to my prior comments as well as the fact that you could assume they (milius and co.) loosely based Movie Thulsa Doom on Thoth Amon, who was actually a conan character. This film has disaster written all over it.

  • July 21, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST

    FlickaPoo = fantastic dad

    by ironic_name

    paint her with bronze lotion next time!

  • July 21, 2008, 8:07 a.m. CST

    All these sidesteps

    by Conans Sword

    i wish they'd just get on with doing a proper conan film

  • July 21, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Jagga

    by JimBobCooter

    All action stars shine with perfectly stylized sweat and dirt (not to mention perfectly placed cuts and bruises). All races. Yet you've brought this up your black baby oil fetish 4 times now. We get it. It turns you on. Go join a Dijimon adult chat room somewhere.

  • July 21, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Sorry for my grammar

    by JimBobCooter

    You get the idea.

  • July 21, 2008, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Thulsa Doom vs. Temple of Doom

    by JimBobCooter

    Mola Ram returns?

  • July 21, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Get it right guys, its..

    by NomoredirtyjokespleaseweareYanks

    Givvesss usss FREEEE

  • July 21, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    So we're getting a Cobra-la movie

    by BYOBkenobi

    With the Amistad guy as Golobulus?

  • July 21, 2008, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Isn't the prequel fad over yet?

    by Franklin T Marmoset

    A film about Thulsa Doom the creepy, mystical, head-chopping badass might be fun to watch, but do we need another film that sucks all the magic out of a character we love by showing us his backstory in dreary, tedious detail?<p>Poor James Earl Jones, he's already seen his other great movie villain turned into a whinging chump, it just doesn't seem right to put the guy through that again.

  • July 21, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Why not a Black Panther movie with this actor?

    by fiester

    He would own that part.

  • July 21, 2008, 9:30 a.m. CST

    So Scorpion King, basically?

    by MCVamp

    I'll wait for Netflix, thanks.

  • July 21, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I like Djimon Hounsou

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Good luck to him with this project.

  • July 21, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Black Panther Honsou needs happening

    by pipergates

    this sounds very cool but why the heck would they make it without having Conan in it?!

  • July 21, 2008, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Who?

    by thebearovingian

    Wait. Who?

  • July 21, 2008, 1:13 p.m. CST

    errr...what?

    by Staldo

    So we're seeing a prequel to the Conan movies, which featured a character only vaguely reminiscent of the original REH character? It will probably be less low fantasy pulp and more pro wrestling muscle flexing bullshit. If they make another Conan movie, it should be a mo-cap epic ala Beowulf starring Ron Perlman, not a weak-minded crapfest about a guy with big muscles in a loincloth who bangs beautiful women and engages in poorly choreographed swordfights. might as well be Scorpion King if that's the route they're going

  • July 21, 2008, 1:36 p.m. CST

    You know it'll be good, cuz Hounsou's,... BUFF!

    by Prague23

    And when you're buff, who needs acting ability?

  • July 21, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Staldo

    by troutpencil

    "not a weak-minded crapfest about a guy with big muscles in a loincloth who bangs beautiful women and engages in poorly choreographed swordfights" <P> That is the description of a fantastic movie, not a crapfest. Like Beastmaster or the original Conan, not The Scorpion King which was just boring. If I saw that sentence describing some sword and sandals movie from the 80s I would watch it in a heartbeat. That genre is seriously understocked with good movies. This probably would be closer to that rancid shitfest The Scorpion King than Beastmaster though.

  • July 21, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Hannibal Rising meets Amistad...

    by BrooseTheScharuk

    ...that's what this sounds like. I like Hounsou as an actor, but I think this idea is a little misguided, and likely to trivialize the themes that he seems to want to explore: slavery,colonialism, third-world autocracy, and...um...good wizards gone bad. I'm still holding out for a real Conan adaptation (as opposed to a self-aggrandizing philosophical rumination by a cigar-chomping megalomaniac like John Milius). This Thusla Doom thing sounds highly avoidable. It also sounds like Hounsou was captivated by and is wanting to expand on the little-to-do-with R.E. Howard OR Conan Thusla Doom character in Milius' movie, as opposed to any literary character he may or may not have read about (I'm going with NOT) in Howard's Kull writings.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Should interview Doctor Doom.

    by mrfan

    Now, that would be cool news.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Djimon's a cool guy, he'll make it work

    by smackfu

    Anytime a good actor is the driving force behind a comic movie, I think that's a good sign that it's going to be handled seriously.

  • July 21, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    This will be sub-SCORPION KING garbage.

    by Mosquito March

    It's got straight-to-video tax-write-off written all over it. I mean, who the fuck really cares about a THULSA DOOM movie? I'm as jazzed about this as I am about the ill-advised MAGNETO movie they keep fucking threatening to make. Who gives a shit?

  • July 21, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    i sent in a solomon kane script

    by El Borak

    recently. i think it's pretty good so far. i have it if anybody cares.

  • July 21, 2008, 5:15 p.m. CST

    John Milius's KING CONAN!! If only...

    by Drath

    With the deaths of Mako and Basil Poledouris, and that fool Schwarzenegger making T3 and his dumb bid for politics, the movie will NEVER happen, or be as great as it would have been if all those people were still involved. Did I mention I'm bitter to have not seen that movie made? I'd trade T3, Salvation, and Sarah Connor Chronicles for one King Conan, sorry T fans.

  • July 21, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    when i think of Djimon

    by Mr_X

    i sometimes think of mustard

  • July 21, 2008, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Drath

    by Geekgasm

    I second the emotion.

  • July 21, 2008, 10:31 p.m. CST

    "how do you explore..

    by El Borak

    the backstory of a character that has no existing story?" or maybe i should ask, "why create a backstory for a character shoe-horned into conan's story where he shouldn't be in the first place?"

  • July 22, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Yeah I still have to call bogus on this...

    by vintagecrow

    ...or at best a straight to DvD video... I wish they would just stick to what Howard wrote, it pawns the screen version.

  • July 22, 2008, 6:55 a.m. CST

    Djimon

    by El Cimarron

    good luck on this and all, just hope that if doesn't go the Vin Diesel/Hannibal the Conqueror (based on a far more interesting story and real character) way and doesn't get made.

  • July 22, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Make an Imaro movie instead!

    by DocPazuzu

    This idea is awful. Make a movie based on Charles R. Saunders' sword & sorcery books about Imaro instead. Imaro's like an African Conan, and much more compelling a character than Thulsa Doom. If you've read the Imaro books then you know they'd make a great cinematic property.

  • July 22, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    lost cause

    by Staldo

    I see making a case for the Robert E. Howard character is a lost cause on here, as most everyone is in love with the Arnold version of the character that spawned a thousand low-budget ripoffs that became prime MST3K material. I feel like the movies took Conan in a disturbingly Gor-esque direction, where it was all about goofy fetishism rather than atmosphere or mythology. There's this thing called source material that dictates a crafty, athletic, articulate Conan that I have yet to see on screen. anachronistic quotes of Genghis Khan in an Austrian accent do not a character make

  • July 22, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Lore? Hello?

    by Darth Macchio

    As much as I'd love a movie like this it is hell and gone from any lore and thus would be pure "fiction" created from fiction. This is a movie based purely on the Millius CtB Thulsa Doom creation. It will fail for the same reason any origin story does when not about a super-hero...it destroys the mystery of his motivations. In some cases, knowing that drive can be lead to good character development but in the case of a "prequel" it always fucks with our preconceived notions of the characters motivations and always falls flat. Outside of GF2, where else has any prequel material been told to good effect? Michael Myers used to be an ustoppable force of nature, now he's just a overly large white trash reject still pissed at his mom and step-dad (whatever). Hannibal Lecture is no longer a pure psychotic...now he's an avenging lover seeking redemption for those who insulted his pet milf. And Darth Vader...once the imposing and unyielding harbinger of death and power, tyranny personified and once a brilliant film villain...is now reduced to a fucking whiny dickhead who is filled with self-doubt, jealousy, post maturity teen-angst and an overly large Darth Vader suit (don't get me started). Thulsa Doom, as a film character just isn't that interesting in the first place (his story does not scream for telling does it? honestly?) and even if it does...it destroys the mystery. Thulsa Doom as portrayed in CtB was a noble if brutal tyrant; Jones brought a menace to the character but also a certain dark elegance. Trying to make him out to be a "good guy gone bad" is highly stupid/illogical and really trying to squeeze milk from an acorn. I think this guy is just trying to live down the abject horror of Eragon and that totally fucking batshit stupid klingon(?) wig they made the poor him wear. There are many other projects worthy of this type of attention...like maybe a King Conan or a Red Nails film...it could happen!