Conan – The Frost Giant’s Daughter

conans-eyes

Since some of you seem to be interested, I am posting my version of The Frost Giant’s Daughter. I wrote this as practice for the Conan script, to see if I could get in the mood, so to speak. So let me be clear – this was NOT commissioned, is NOT for profit and is simply to be considered fan material.  It has nothing to do with the script we were hired to write. That said, it is short, little more than a quick adaptation that would produce maybe a 5-6 minute film.  I hope you all like it. (And if you don’t, don’t panic about the script itself. What’s below is just a first draft, written very quickly. The script itself has been combed through. I really like it.

Click on each page to open it in new tab.  I hope.

Page 1

FG - Page 1

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FG - Page 2

Page 3FG - page 3Page 4

FG Page 4

Now wouldn’t that be fun?

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25 Responses to “Conan – The Frost Giant’s Daughter”

  1. […] Blackman, one of the writers for the, as we reported, second Conan movie posted a practise Conan screenplay on his private blog. As he states he created the script to see if he can get into the right mood to […]

  2. The pacing and scenes are well chosen, though i personally think the screenplay misses the main parts and message of the story.

    Conan is carefully aware she leads him into a trap and he threatens her, if she tries he will kill anyone. The dialogue is also to cut down portraiting Conan as the dumb brute he always was in peoples mind since Ahnuld played him. Conan’s raw strength, youth and arrogance made him survive this attack from celestial creatures… his raw barbaric power even mocking the gods and i think that important center of the story is missing in the screenplay adaptation.

  3. duaneshadow Says:

    agree with waldgeist about the script – nicely done, but Conan is an intelligent man. That’s how he is a successful general and king in his later years.

    I do appreciate the touches of detail from the original – wounding the giants in the leg and beheading the other respectively.

    I would be more than happy to see this as an early part of the film (after born on the battlefield and venarium) and I’m optimistic to see that you are referring to the original. You have a big responsibility here chap. Howard is an under appreciated author and a respectful adaptation of his work would go a long way to getting him the recognition he deserves and would make for a better film and sequels. Good luck to you sir. Again, I like the script.

  4. Crom's Bells Says:

    Hey Dirk, good attempt at the screenplay. I posted some my comments at the Conan boards, but since you’re looking for feedback, I thought I’d post em here too.

    —————————
    “Personally, I felt the battle with Heimdul was a critical component to the story. It wasn’t the crux, but it added on to the mood and staged a scene of epic proportions. Alas, the removal of that scene and some crucial dialogue just didn’t come off as an appropriate Conan screenplay.

    The banter between Conan and Atali, especially when Atali criticizes Conan for swearing by the gods, was vital in helping create a sense of uniqueness in Hyboria imo.

    Altogether, not very impressed with the quality of the screenplay. I hope Dirk can do a better job than this when it comes to the movie. I am, however, also not completely cynical, and in fact am somewhat hopeful of his abilities, as he obviously has read the source material already, and this screenplay gives us a sense of relief in that he is making an attempt to achieve what fans want, at the very least. “

  5. Crom's Bells Says:

    Also, let me add on a few more words here. In my opinion, it is difficult to directly translate Conan literally to visually while axing words from the original books. When I think of Robert E Howard’s Conan stories, I generally think of hard hitting action with awesome storytelling abilities – because the stories are already stripped to the bare minimum. Whatever content there is, is there to bridge the story and setting of Conan’s world. Removal of any text could potentially result in a gaping hole in what Howard intended for us to see.

    Compare Howard to other S&S writers. The feeling is generally different. Why? Because other writers tend to beat around the bush, adding in unnecessary details, like spending one entire page describing the protagonists crossing a harmless valley. Not Howard, he gets to the point, and he does it with such high energy words that BAM! the point gets across instantly, engaging the reader.

    That is all I have to add. All the best dude!

  6. Why change the story? He didn’t have a sword through him he had his brain addled. Please please please keep the story and dialogue true to the original novels, all your work is done there for you. If you are going to use one of REH’s stories it must be left unchanged.

    Now if this new movie is a new adventure of your own creation, again please stay true to the original intelligent barbaric Conan.

    Thank you for your version of our favorite unconquerable hero, anxiously awaiting!

  7. The battle scene & the 2 last men standing ( Conan/Heimdall) are integral to the plot in that it establishes Conans state of mind for the rest of the story ( Conan is already half delirious half-dead from fighting so he’s more weakened & susceptible in his mental state for Atalis enchantment soon to follow )

    #1) It also establishes the time & place to put the protagonist & antagonist in a specific place for events to unfold . TWO MEN on the battlefield explains who/what/where/when/why Conan is at that location ( try to do it in a movie otherwise & see if it floats ) THE BATTLE , with Conan HIT ON THE HEAD , not stabbed . A specific time & place that can ‘not’ take place at any other place or time whatsoever BUT on a frozen battlefield of Northern warriors . It’s integral to the mythology of Ymir/Frost Giants/Atali . Why are they all there ?

    #2) & ALso if Conan wasnt’ already delirious & easily enchanted as a result of being beaten senseless on nordic battlegrounds – it definitely makes his intent to chase & have his way with her in his frustration a lot more sinister & waaay different than the Conan most of us think of . Actually it would make him plain evil I would think . & that would be DOUBLED by the fact that there wasn’t a scene at the end with Conan having that piece of cloth in his hand IN PLAIN SIGHT of the OTHER MEN at the end of the story . Think about it for a second ! Because if he didn’t have that cloth in his hand , nobody witnessed anything , the story could just have been in Conans addled brain as far as the men see it . Then it would mean Conan really wasn’t enchanted , nothing supernatural happened & Conan would have NO “diminished capacity” excuse for his intent to rape Atali , whether she existed only in Conans brain or not . His being hit on the head is absolutely integral to the stories plot .

    #3) If the men who find half-dead Conan in the snow ( with the cloth ) DO SEE the footprints of ATALI in the snow ( as Blackman wrote it ) – then was she really supernatural ? WHY ?

    Those elements left out or changed will completely alter REH’s story to something inexcusable , & actually pretty pointless also . & Only IF he had the wisp of cloth – but no footprints other than Conans does it make sense . Otherwise it undermines the whole point of the supernatural element of Atali’s bewitchment on Conan . Then Atali wasn’t an entity . So then what is the point of the story really ?! It would be absolutely senseless , just a man attempting to chase & rape someone , whether he only imagined her or not .

    #4) What purpose whatsoever does a sword stabbed into & apparently left IN Conans side have to add to the story ? Absolutely nothing , it’s just random nonsense that doesn’t add to the story , actually makes the story more implausible -if he’s bleeding to death ,& not bonked on the head , so how’s he going to chase her down ? Conan getting banged on his dented-helmet head is integral . A completely unrealistic scenario of a sword actually piercing a man & him then running afterwards is pointless .

    That’s not what Howard wrote & he put all the elements in the story for a purpose , not randomly.
    Everything is in that story of REH for a definite reason exactly as written , there’s no excess to the story , and little leeway to change it or shorten it any further & still have it make sense .

  8. norse_sage Says:

    For being a first and quickly written draft, it is pretty good, cerainly on par with all filmed Conan material so far!
    But I have two issues with it:

    1. While do not terribly mind the omission of Heimdal and Conan being stabbed insteaded of beaten in the head (but including those things would be most welcome), the ending is way rushed and the impact lost.

    2. The handling of Conan – and this is my main concern.
    Conan is not a borderline retard. On the contrary, the original Conan is written as cunning as hell. I’m sure you kno that.
    That the Milius/Schwarzenegger “Conan the freed slave” (for despite the title, he was not a barbarian, and after being captive so long, no longer a true Cimmerian) interpretation of Conan was slow of mind is no reason at all why he should be in this new adaptation of the original REH stories. This is the prfect opportunity to re-educate those who suffer from the deluision that Conan is but a one dimensional ox. While we admittingly do not get much insight into Conan’s mind here, I was left with the impression that this is the slow of mind Conan. A Conan I for one never want to see again. CtB and CtD was quite enough of that for me.

    That said, kudos for adapting an original story. And massive kudos for trying to get into the proper before writing an actual commissioned script! I do hope you will take the comments here into consideration for then, and include the many and layers of subtelties within REH’s writing will no doubt elevate the proverbial script, and if the director has the right vision, the finished movie.

    Please keep updating your blog like this, there are many who would only be edlighted to give their iput. Conan fans worldwide want nothing more than to see these movies done right, I wish you all th best of luck in giving us just that.

    Oh, and remember:
    From Conan’s point of view, praying is only for weakly cowards. Barbarians don’t sink to that level. Crom gives men their courage at birth; beyond that, he cares not wether his followers live or die. Pray to him, and he will strike you down for being a praying wuss.
    Just sayin;p

  9. Mr. Blackman,

    As a fan of Robert E. Howard, I greatly enjoyed reading your practice script. It shows you are quite familiar with Howard’s stories and are able to capture the tone of his tales. Frankly, I am already excited to watch the second Conan film scripted by you. (Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing about the upcoming first film scripted by Donnelly/Oppenheimer. I still cannot fathom why they were chosen over you…)

  10. I appreciate the attempt, at least you read the stories.
    But why change the story? Is not REH stories good enough for a movie script? I think they are, thats why I read them, am I alone in this? I just don’t understand how people can think that their version is better than the creator.

  11. Why not convert to an Acrobat file rather than jpegs?

    I agree, too, that the exercise should be more along the lines of: “how much of the original story can we make work in a movie?” It cries out for an animatic. ;)

  12. I have read the original Conan stories a couple of times and am in agreement with the points made by the previous contributors. Conan is a highly intelligent, cunning, brave, honorable, highly skilled fighter and General with an immense strength to back it up. I do hope future Conan films are well made but, unfortunately, when ‘Tinsel Town’ gets it into its head to ravish a historical or fantasy classic the chances are that they dum it down to appeal to the widest audience to reduce the risk of a commercial failure. I can see it now, another US wrestler strutting up to the screen with a drawling opening line giving the impression of a cross between ‘John Wayne’ and ‘Rocky’. If Conan stories are treated with respect and the intelligent production they deserve; I am sure that they would give LOTR a run for its money. If not, well, they will join the list….Alexander, Pearl Harbor, assorted dragon movies etc. Lets hope for the best eh? :-)

    • outlanderthemovie Says:

      I had a real vision when I first got the job that Conan could carve itself a niche in the area of LOTR. What I really saw was that soft fantasy had been played out and that an R fantasy could really make some waves. Smart, bloody, action-filled, fantastic. In a word, Conan. Well, we’ll see. I don’t know if it’s true that H’d dumbs things down so to speak. there’s always been a wide range of movies available. I think what is going missing is the epic, and that’s because it’s too expensive and people no longer seem to read. they are too busy on facebook, twitter, playing games, etc. And, adults have been chased out of the megaplexes by the easy bucks of the blockbuster.

  13. eric(SLAYERx78) Says:

    FGD is a short enough pastich that VERY little change need be made. not to knock the script,but the sword in the side …no, write an exact translation, keep in mind the undertones Howard had in mind( blow to head,causes conan to become atuned to the other side, but its not all in his head,a real “other diminsion”.

  14. the fight between conan and heimdall is essential and should be included along with conans head trauma. even the dialog of the scene in the original establishes conan as quick witted under pressure.

  15. I liked the short draft & understand it was just a practice run.I agree with some of the other comments about Conan not seeming to bright , but the story itself does not call for Conan to be a seasoned problem solver.It is mine & I’m sure most other Conan fans that the Cimmerian be writtenfor film in the Howard vien , rather then Milius’. John Milius Did Conan some justice , but not as much as you already did with four pages.Conan is Americas L.O.T.R.’s & he deserves the same respect on film.Your off to a good start.Keep writting.

  16. norse_sage Says:

    Now that the casting breakdown is out in the wild, and the story can read between the lines; I would much much MUCH rather see you and McCain write the script for the first Conan movie – because if the present script by those other guys is a as crap as it seems to be, there’s not going to be a second movie.

    Your heart is certainy in the right place, and you seem to get REH and Conan. The same cannot be said for the others.

  17. The Master Says:

    Speaking about the casting call and the new Conan movie: There are NO ONE in Millenium, Paradox, Nu Image or Lionsgate that can stop that mutilation??? There is consensus here: This. Sucks.

    The movie will be soooo crappy, sooooooo unfaithful, soooo cliche, soooo boring… a box office disaster, i guess.

    Maybe i´m wrong. Maybe the final script is great… but is very is hard to believe. The only evidences that we have proves the opposite.

    It´s sad. I really wanted to see your adaptation of “People of the black circle”, Mr. Blackman.

    • outlanderthemovie Says:

      I too would love to write People. It is not impossible for that to happen. We just have to hope the first movie does well, and that our adaptation for the second takes off also. I can make no prognostications about the success or failure of the first. I am too close in all ways. I have hope.

  18. It works fine . the story is simple enough to begin with , and was always more about mood and setting than character.If it were to be used as an intro sequence in a future conan movie ( ala indiana jones or 007) we’re off to a good start. It would also be a great way to incorporate howards short story source material into new original movies. Though I don’t recall howard ever writing one, an intro sequence on venarium would be nice.Lets face it , most of these short stories could never stand as a full blown movie .they are short stories and making a two hour epic out of , lets say, the tower of the elephant , to me anyway , stretches the material and is a bit indulgent. Although if an anthology type movie were made ( maybe spanning three or four different times in conans life with different actors playing him) could be interesting. One suggestion on the final script. Leave out any silly origin story and have nothing take place in cimmeria, we the reader or viewer were never meant to know too much about it except how much it sucked living there

  19. outlanderthemovie Says:

    Appreciate the thoughts. That was actually my ultimate intention – to find a way to incorporate some of the smaller pieces into the larger film. Hence cutting things like the heimdall fight. In an intro, or teaser, you get one battle, and given that, I think we’d all rather see him fight the giants. As to the ‘origin’ you are going to see that, as you can see from the leaked scripts. Thing about that is, while REH fans know the world, others don’t. For this movie to be a success, there will have to be about twenty non- REH fans in the audience for every one of us lunatics. And that ratio is actually probably very low. It might actually be closer to fifty.

    • We all get the reasoning for origin tales in the introduction of a new IP(which realistically speaking this Conan movie will be, Conan is not actually a “top-notch” license at this time and age comparable to licenses like Star Wars or the like).

      I guess you’ve read the script of the Doppenheimers. There is NO reason, no artist or anyone can spawn to make an origin, that will 100% change the character of the stories. Liberties? No problem. Inventing new stuff to make an interesting, compelling origin? Great no problem. Butchering the basis for the character, changing him, the parts of the origin that were painted by Howard, turning him to the almost opposite of what he was, no that is absolutely not acceptable or logical OR needed to make a good movie.

      Image Doppenheimers take your Outlander character and they write an origin for him and it would be:

      He is not a soldier, a pilgrim settling on a new planet, no he was the son of a rich merchant. His family was not killed, nor did he kill the Morwen on said planet. His family is alive and well and he was actually on a merchant carrier, that then dropped on the face of the earth. He got his training for a special personal trainer and is a well studied and calm man.

      That’s about as drastic as they changed the “CONAN” character in their script, compared to Howard’s Character.

      Now you don’t want to tell me, that this has no impact on YOUR writing. How can you as a writer ignore those character archs, that are spun by Doppenheimer, all that tragedy, that horror and humiliation, that terror and drama and NOT have it affect the character in ANY way.

      Its logically impossible(!) for CONAN to even have a remotely similar personality to the Conan we know from Howard, because of his past. We are all, undeniably products of our past. We are all influenced by the pictures life paints into our eyes. We can’t simply wash of drama, bad things/good things happen and stay with us. The only difference is for how long they stay with us or how much they influence us, but they ultimately DO.

      Now having a character: Loose his mother at birth, be a social outcast, kill a man at 6-7, being and anger driven child with ADS symptoms, be personally trained by his father, because he is such a trouble child, loosing his whole tribe and seeing his father being killed, going on a nearly 10 year long venture of vengeance.

      That is not Conan. Not even in the absolute, tiniest sense of the thing, other than both characters come from a could country called Cimmeria and are physically strong.

      I am not judging the quality of Doppenheimers writing here. Not judging if their travesty script can turn into an enjoyable movie, i am questioning the possibility of you and Mr. McCain writing a script for a second movie that portraits a CONAN that is even close to Howards, because of the dramatic and inverting changes they did to the characters past.

      The question therefore is: Are you writing a script based ON Doppenheimers origin or based/inspired by Howard’s writing and character origins. (like one of the Dark Horse Comics that paints his past in a much closer way to Howard and it would IMHO make for a better movie, while also being closer to Howard and CONAN)

  20. outlanderthemovie Says:

    You make some very interesting points here. One would think that the horrors visited upon a young child would reverberate throughout that person’s life. Certainly that is reality. Very often it is fiction. Hannibal Lecter comes to mind. But to be honest, really honest, it doesn’t always work that way with film. Very often we write exceptional origins but fail to follow through on what they would really mean to a character. Oddly enough, that isn’t always a bad thing.

    The following comes to mind. We were hired to write a version of Iron Fist for Marvel many years back. We looked at his origin – father killed by best friend; raised by Kunlun monks to be the greatest kung fu artist ever; DRIVEN BY REVENGE to want to kill his father’s murderer. So we figured that a man with that origin would be a dark character, not prone to bon mots, etc. After all, if you’ve been seeking revenge for years, you’re probably not high on the happiness scale, right? Anyway, we wrote a perfectly good script but it didn’t have that comic pop. In paying attention to the psychological truth (as we saw it) we failed to write what was desired – a popcorn movie. We were truthful… and wrong.

    In all likelihood, while the new Conan origin may not be canonical, it is not necessarily the case that it will affect how Conan is played as an adult in the story. It might – I don’t know how it will be directed – but it also might not. It may simply be treated as a FACT that powers the story rather than a set of circumstances that define a character. But to your point, I will tell you this. As I was writing it, my only thoughts were of the Conan in my head, who is a distillation of REH and the Conan of the early Marvel years, with a dash of the Dark Horse. Now you may or may not like what I came up with (altho god, I hope you all do!) but I can say without question I felt as if I was mining the source. That is by no means a comment on the present script. It is only to say that I could not write any Conan but the one who lives in my head. (Altho I think someone made a similar comment (you?) on the conan blog and as I said at the time that it did cause me to change a few lines to reflect the fact that he had been through certain trials at a young age.) Anyway, when the script leaks, I have no doubt that all you folks will avail us of your strong opinions. (Crom help us.) Thanks for writing, W.

    • While I understand the necessity for a screenplay writer to ultimately obey the wishes of his customers, I fail to see the logical, editorial or story writing rule for ignoring a characters past. (just because a producer is dumb is no reason to change a perfectly fine character development)

      It may be common practise to create unbelievable and stupid characters in cinema, but every good print editor would slap you with the book you presented him, if a characters past and present do not connect, because ultimately you will loose the reader somewhere on the way.

      I believe, that in a cheap popcorn movie, this approach can be coated with super-awesome boom and effects (Scorpion King anyone?), but I fear that a Conan movie does not provide this silly over the top action, to blind the audience and hide bad character development or a lousy script.

      I guess I would never be successful as a screenplay writer, as I would take the same approach you did for the Iron Fist character and logically develop his present based on his past. I am kind of a purist in that regard, in everything I do… of course that sometimes cost me a customer or two, but in the end… being an artist also means you should try not to betray yourself for the sake of money, because it will ultimately degrade you and take any chance away to ride on the heights of people like Christopher Nolan.

  21. I am filming this.

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