Guy Ritchie Considering Another Stab At King Arthur
With an ambitious Warner Bros. plan
Warner Bros.’ attempts to turn King Arthur into a big cinematic character (and kick off a franchise in the process) are enough to fill their own book of myths and legends. Now one of the questing directors who previously tried, Guy Ritchie, appears ready to give it another shot, looking at a an even more ambitious plan.
According to Deadline, Ritchie is considering an idea spawned by writer Joby Harold that would spin the story across no less than six fantasy films, and has written the first script.
It’s certainly a bold idea, though we’ll refrain from holding our collective breath for it to reach screens, since the last time Ritchie tangled with Arthurian subject matter he developed a project with Trance writer John Hodge, only to see Warners pivot away in favour of David Dobkin’s idea.
Wedding Crashers man Dobkin focused instead on Arthur & Lancelot, a re-telling of the younger days of the King and his best pal/noblest knight/future lady-stealer. He even got as far as locking in Kit Harington and Joel Kinnaman as the leads, with an offer out to Gary Oldman as Merlin before budget disagreements shut everything down.
There's certainly scope for a fantasy take on King Arthur; attempts to ground the story and strip out the magic in First Knight and King Arthur didn't quite work. Reinstate elements like Merlin, Morgan le Fay, the watery tart Lady in the Lake and so on, and you might be on to something more interesting. The Arthurian legends are the most potent British mythology, and as TV's Merlin showed, they remain as popular as ever.
Right now, Ritchie is busy working on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer starring, but if he does then decide he wants to pull the Arthur sword from Warners’ stone, we could start hearing more as things develop…