King Arthur, the legendary British leader who reigned during the early 6th century, is a character so enduring and timeless that he’s been adapted for screen, theater and literature countless times over.
That means Arthur needs no introduction, but it also means that those creators out to engineer a fresh spin on the Excalibur-wielding hero, are left facing a difficult task. Trust Guy Ritchie, then, to have us cautiously optimistic ahead of the release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Placing Sons of Anarchy alum Charlie Hunnam in the lead role, Warner Bros.’ lavish reboot has been penciled in for release next March, and while speaking with Empire, the actor promised to introduce an Arthur who is “contemporary, selfish, [and] somewhat rough around the edges.”
Famed for his rat-a-tat editing and slick sense of cinematic style, Ritchie has proven his knack for modernizing legends in the past (read: Sherlock Holmes), and when asked for an elevator pitch, Charlie Hunnam pinned 2017’s King Arthur as the lovechild of “Lord Of The Rings and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. [It’s] an unlikely marriage of two things, but it works.”
It certainly presents an exciting formula, and if Ritchie is able to fuse the comedic interplay of Lock, Stock with a rich, Tolkien-esque lore, Warner Bros. could be on to a winner. One thing’s for sure – the director certainly put Hunnam through his paces to get the role, with the latter reflecting on his audition as so:
“I said, ‘You know what? Fucking stop the camera. I’m starting to lose my temper. I know those other pricks you’ve got reading for this role (namely Henry Cavill and Michael Fassbender). If you bring them in right now, I’ll fucking fight them both at once for the role, and we’ll see what’s up with the physicality.’ Guy said, ‘Fucking hell, alright – calm down, mate.’”
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, also starring Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Eric Bana and Djimon Honsou, will launch into theaters on March 24, 2017.