This past week, Disney announced they are moving forward on a live-action remake of their classic animated adventure The Sword in the Stone. The story follows a young King Arthur as Merlin teaches him how to become a powerful leader. Warner Bros. is going to get their first, though, with their powerful medieval fantasy thriller Knights of the Round Table. Shooting has continued in England throughout this past year, and now Entertainment Weekly has our first look at it's leading man.
Charlie Hunnam plays the title monarch in Knights of the Round Table. The former Sons of Anarchy star proudly shows off his massive sword while lounging in, on and around the set of director Guy Ritchie's latest attempt to rebuff an ancient legend. It follows his other reboots Sherlock Holmes, which found much success with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead, and this summer's as yet unproven TV adaptation, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which will attempt to make superstars out of Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. And if we're to judge Knights of the Round Table on these photos alone, it looks as though Guy Ritchie is ready to bring his signature style to a land far removed from our modern culture in.
Guy Ritchie's goal is to give us a King Arthur like we've never seen before. And that means he probably knows Kung Fu. While Guy Ritchie has a few blemishes in his long career, one thing he is incapable of is making a boring movie. And long drawn out scenes of drama seem to haunt the most recent updates of the Arthurian legen. Clive Owen's take on the character has kept the King away from the big screen for over ten years, with 2004's King Arthur failing to draw much of a crowd. Guy Ritchie doesn't want you to worry. This is not that movie.
"I think where the pitfall has often been is trying to make King Arthur bland and nice, and nice and bland. The two qualities make rather compatible bed companions. Unfortunately, they're not interesting to watch. Luke Skywalker was always the most uninteresting character in Star Wars because he's the good guy. Good guys are boring."
You'll notice that the costume on display here doesn't look too Medieval. It's a more modern wardrobe with a T-shirt that looks as though it were bought at the mall. But this is meant to be a rougher, tougher king in a post-modern movie. He is described by Charlie Hunnam as someone who has been through a lot. And we'll see him go through some of his most daring challenges on screen. The actor explains more.
"He's a little bit rough around the edges, but he's basically a survivor. He's a hustler. He's a street kid. There's definitely a harder edge to him than people would imagine. It's sort of classic Guy Ritchie stuff."
While Knights of the Round Table has a slightly more modern take, the movie will not shy away from the fantasy elements, making it a true dungeons and dragons type of swashbuckler. There will be massive snakes and giant war elephants on display. And there is a hulking viking-like monstrosity known as The Nemesis. Warner Bros. and Guy Ritchie are quite ambitious with their rebooted property. There are six films planned in all, as this epic, sweeping tale sets out to re-imagine the Arthurian legend for a new generation.
The key source material for Knights of the Round Table is Thomas Mallory's "Le Morte d'Arthur," published in 1485 as a compilation of French and English tales. Arthur is believed to have been a 6th century King, and he defended Britain against the Saxon invaders, all of which will be depicted in the movie when it opens next summer, exactly one year from now. The film also stars Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana and Mikael Persbrandt. Take a look at star Charlie Hunnam on set.