We all know the stories of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table, the most puissant knights in the history of chivalry. The tale has been retold in books, movies, TV shows, and songs too many times to count. Are you ready for a new, more rough-hewn version of King Arthur?
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opens in the USA on May 12, and it’s a little different than the versions you’ve seen before. This Arthur didn’t grow up in Sir Ector’s castle. He was never a page or a squire. This version shows King Arthur growing up in the back streets of Londinium. As Vortigern says, “raised in a brothel.” This is an Arthur who knows more about survival than chivalry.Guy Ritchie, who directed The Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboot, Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, directed King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The script was written by Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, and Lionel Wigram, based on a story by Joby Harold and David Dobkin. The movie stars Charlie Hunnam (Raleigh Becket in Pacific Rim) as Arthur, the rightful king of England, and Jude Law (Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2) as the usurper, King Vortigern. The movie will also feature Eric Bana (Nero in the Star Trek reboot) as Uther Pendragon and Djimon Hounsou (Drago in How to Train Your Dragon 2, Korath in Guardians of the Galaxy) as an Ethiopian or Moorish Bedivere. In this version, Kay is not Arthur’s foster brother, but an attractive young woman played by Georgina Campbell.
“The Isle of Skye and Wester Ross were used as filming locations for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which will see Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam take on the lead role….The film, due for release next month … also used Windsor Great Park and the Forest of Dean in England, as well as Snowdonia in Wales….The Quiraing on Skye and the Bealach na Ba pass on the Applecross peninsula feature prominently in the new hit movie,” according to The Skye Times.
Entertainment Weekly‘s Kevin P. Sullivan described King Arthur: Legend of the Sword as ” full-blast swords and sorcery told with a Cockney accent.” Star Charlie Hunnam said “there was an uncertainty about the tone” when they began filming as they knew they didn’t want the Arthur of Richard Harris or Cedric Hardwicke or Andrew Burt. The original plan was to have a movie that was “straightforward, and somewhat somber … which is obviously not what we ended up with… Arthur and his pals, the tone of those interactions is very much the way Guy is. We were just doing our best Guy Ritchie impersonations.”
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will be released May 12 in the United States and May 19 in the U.K. Are you ready for a very different Arthur?
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.