He came up with the title, "The Emperor and the Sword", and the cast. I came up with the names, bar his suggestion of Roundtree to be the Black Knight.
LEE MAJORS as THE VIKING
LINDA BLAIR as PRINCESS LYDYA
SYBIL DANNING as SISTER HELENE
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER as KING CEDRIC
HENRY SILVA as CYDRAX THE MONGOL
RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN as CHANCELLOR NAVON
ROBERT VAUGHN as WHEELOCK THE SMUGGLER
JOHN SAXON as MARCO POLO
AND ROY SCHEIDER as DUIGAN
WITH SPECIAL GUEST STAR
RICHARD ROUNDTREE as THE WHITE KNIGHT
AND (MY SUGGESTIONS)
JOHN VERNON as VIKING GENERAL HEINEK
RODDY MCDOWELL as VIMTO THE CHRONICLER
DAVID WARNER as KING ALISTAIR
JAMES HONG as MONGOL SECONDARY
Begins in war-torn Scandinavia, filmed at night to hide the fact that this is in fact a desert, possibly MEXICO or ISRAEL, anywhere with a good tax deal. We see flaming WOODEN CABINS, battering rams, catapults and men on horseback. There is a VIKING SHIP on a lake, tossing flaming arrows. Our hero, THE VIKING arrives in an INN, owned by a BOSOMY BARMAID with a Cockney accent. There, he meets his GENERAL, HEINEK who wants the Mongol hordes in the South to be destroyed. He also encounters a journalist-cum-minstrel, the CHRONICLER who sings songs of current events to local peasants. He is joined by DUIGAN, a Dutch mercenary and WHEELOCK, a cold, callous smuggler who sells pornographic woodcuts in exchange for the latest weaponry. They are both hunting down the Mongol leader, CYDRAX. They arrive in the kingdom of ARCADIA, where they believe that CYDRAX is hiding. There, there is a royal parade featuring the beautiful virgin PRINCESS LYDYA. Her father, KING CEDRIC is outraged when CYDRAX kidnaps LYDYA, and offers the VIKING a million gold coins as a reward for bringing her back - ALIVE! He meets opposition in the KING's shifty, sinister ADVISOR, CHANCELLOR NAVON. And is once again followed by THE CHRONICLER. DUIGAN is killed at a convent, where he is unsuccessfully nursed by a warrior nun in diaphanous chain-mail habit, SISTER HELENE. She joins them, as "penance". She has a psychic vision that CYDRAX (who is not born Mongol,but a baby found among the construction site of the GREAT WALL OF CHINA by a builder) is trying to claim ARCADIA. To find the truth, WHEELOCK suggests that they go to the MOUNTAIN OF WISDOM. At first, they are attacked by MOUNTAIN and SWAMP TROLLS, big men in big-eared green monster suits. They find the MOUNTAIN presided over by the mystical silver-armoured African WHITE KNIGHT, an ancient Immortal who tells them that CYDRAX is the mythical BLACK PRINCE, the older brother of KING CEDRIC, who was abandoned (in flashback) by their father, KING ALISTAIR, who had a vision that the older child would grow up to be evil, and lead to the destruction of the known world. He was forbidden to kill it, and thus abandoned it, giving it to MARCO POLO to bring to CHINA. THE CHRONICLER hears this, and brings the news back to CEDRIC, who says he's known, but likes to forget, and decides that if LYDYA is dead, war shall be declared. THE VIKING TEAM are guided to CYDRAX's mountaintop fortress, where WHEELOCK is eaten by a BUFFALO, and SISTER HELENE attacks giant snakes. THE VIKING has to fight CYDRAX to the death. CYDRAX is bisected by a portcullis. LYDYA is rescued, but as she is brought back with HELENE and THE VIKING, NAVON instructs that the MONGOLS should take over ARCADIA, as the rightful KING, CYDRAX has allied with the MONGOLS. The crowds are then led by LYDYA, who push NAVON off the CASTLE, recited by the luting CHRONICLER.
The Emperor and the Sword, a sword and sorcery film to be made in 1983/84 with an incredible cast, Lee Majors as the viking hero, Linda Blair as the damsel, Sybil Danning as a warrior nun/prostitute, henry Silva as a Mongol, Christopher Plummer as the King, Richard Chamberlain as a magician/chancellor, Robert Vaughan as a smuggler, Richard Roundtree as a white (!) knight and possibly Roy Scheider and later John Vernon as the Viking general. It was to be funded by a consortium headed by an oil mogul. Originally, AVco Embassy were to fund the $9 million production to be filmed in Israel. However, Norman Lear took over Embassy around that time, and he wanted a bigger name than Blair, and also due to her drug habit, they got cold feet. They dropped the project, which was Jack Hill was scheduled as director, but turned it down. J Lee Thompson was eventually grabbed, and production was moved to Mexico. However, the Italian producer pulled out, believing that it needed Italian actors and the budget cut in half. Scheider probed unavailable, and John Vernon was cast instead. Production was finally set to begin at Churubusco, when the Italian financier returned, but they were moved aside for Dune. At one point, De Laurentiis was about to save it, but again wanted cast changed, and felt it too similar to Conan, and dumped it. Sandy Howard briefly had it on his slate, but by 1984, the sword and sorcery film was dead. J Lee Thompson did try to revive it at Cannon, who felt it too similar to their Sword of the Valiant.