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'Conan' Director Responds After Jason Momoa Says Film 'Sucked': 'I Was as Unhappy with the Result'

·2-min read
Jason Momoa poses at the Australian premiere of Aquaman on December 18, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images); Director Marcus Nispel attends the world premiere of "Conan The Barbarian" held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on August 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage)
Jason Momoa poses at the Australian premiere of Aquaman on December 18, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images); Director Marcus Nispel attends the world premiere of "Conan The Barbarian" held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on August 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage)

Chris Hyde/Getty; Alexandra Wyman/WireImage

Director Marcus Nispel is speaking out after Jason Momoa criticized their 2011 movie, Conan the Barbarian.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Nispel opened up about the difficulties he faced as the director of the film.

"As a filmmaker in this system you are a dog on many leashes. Trying to get Conan done under those circumstances was the worst experience that I had and I was as unhappy with the result," Nispel, 59, tells PEOPLE. "I am happy though that none of this got in the way of Jason's career path…I always stood by the decision to make Conan with him."

RELATED: Jason Momoa Says His 'Conan the Barbarian' Remake 'Sucked' but Was 'One of the Best Experiences I Had'

BURBANK, CA - JUNE 25: Director Marcus Nispel (L) attends the 41st annual Saturn Awards at The Castaway on June 25, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
BURBANK, CA - JUNE 25: Director Marcus Nispel (L) attends the 41st annual Saturn Awards at The Castaway on June 25, 2015 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Nispel also shared that he was honored to give the Aquaman actor, 43, his first leading role in the action-adventure film.

"My friend John Milius once said: 'There is always a sense of defeat in every victory.' In regards to having had the pleasure and privilege of having given Jason his first leading part, I say: 'There can also be a sense of victory in a defeat,' " adds Nispel.

The director concluded the statement on a light-hearted note with a joke about the action star's famous physique: "By the way – the muscles that Jason flexed for Game of Thrones. I paid for those."

RELATED: Jason Momoa Surprises Passengers, Serves Drinks on Hawaiian Airlines Flight: 'It's a Dream Come True'

In a new interview with British GQ published on Monday, Momoa expressed his disappointment with Conan the Barbarian, telling the outlet, "I've been a part of a lot of things that really sucked, and movies where it's out of your hands. Conan was one of them. It's one of the best experiences I had and it [was] taken over and turned into a big pile of s---."

While Momoa did not go into detail about how it was "taken over," the actor went on to state that after playing mainly hyper-masculine men in his career, he is looking forward to breaking that mold.

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Jason Momoa attends the UK Special Screening of "Dune" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on October 18, 2021 in London, England
Jason Momoa attends the UK Special Screening of "Dune" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on October 18, 2021 in London, England

Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

RELATED: Jason Momoa Teases Ben Affleck May Return as Batman: 'Bruce and Arthur' Are 'Busted on Set'

"It's been hard because people always think I'm just this dude who plays [macho characters]. But I want to be moved, I want something new. Things are changing, and even the villain roles I'm playing now are eccentric," he said.

Momoa will next star in the upcoming sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and plays a villain in the upcoming 10th Fast and Furious movie.