After numerous attempts by Warner Bros to make a new version of the King Arthur legend, I’m hearing that Guy Ritchie is again looking to make the movie. This one is a tentpole fantasy retelling of the Arthur legend, meant to span six films. It was created by Joby Harold, who wrote the script for the first film. Producing is Akiva Goldsman through Weed Road, Harold and Tory Tunnell through Safehouse Pictures, and Ritchie’s partner Lionel Wigram. Ritchie and Wigram previously developed a version of the King Arthur saga based on a script by Trainspotting scribe John Hodge, but it lost steam when it looked like the one by David Dobkin was going to happen.
Warner Bros got closest to a production start with Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot, with Colin Farrell most recently at the center of talks to revive the project as Lancelot, and they chased Gary Oldman for the Merlin role. Warner Bros paid $2 million to acquire Dobkin’s script, but unplugged the film the first time because its $130 million budget was $20 million too high, with Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington to play Arthur and Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman to play Lancelot. Those young upstarts were unproven screen commodities. Other projects previously considered by Warners was a remake of the 1981 John Boorman pic Excalibur that had X-Men helmer Bryan Singer attached; there is also a Harry Potter-style take being produced by Donald DeLine that isn’t really impacted by any of this.
It appears that filmmaker Guy Ritchie has firmed up King Arthur as his next project. We learned a few months ago that Ritchie was looking to direct a new version of the King Arthur tale at Warner Bros., envisioned as a tentpole fantasy epic that would span six feature films. There’s no telling if the franchise will indeed stretch to six films, but today Warner Bros. announced a July 22, 2016 release date (in 2D and 3D, naturally) for the first step, the Ritchie-helmed King Arthur.
king-arthur-guy-ritchieWarner Bros. has been developing a King Arthur epic for some time, and the studio came extremely close a couple of years ago with David Dobkin (The Change-Up) at the helm and Kit Harington and Joel Kinnaman in the leads. Just as production was looking to gear up, however, the studio pulled the plug over budget concerns, and it’s been in limbo ever since.
Ritchie, on the other hand, has been keen on making a King Arthur film for years, and it appears that the stars have aligned and he’ll be bringing the project to fruition at Warner Bros. with a script by Joby Harold (Awake). The film currently has the July 2016 weekend all to itself, though an untitled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel is slated for release the following weekend with Matt Reeves returning to direct.
There’s no word on how quickly production will begin on King Arthur, but Ritchie is currently in the midst of post-production on the spy pic The Man from U.N.C.L.E.—also for Warner Bros.—starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. Somewhat inexplicably, the studio has slated that film for an unceremonious release on January 16, 2015. With this King Arthur news, though, it’s becoming clear that a third Sherlock Holmes film is a ways off—if it ever happens at all.
There's a “RocknRolla” reunion on the horizon, as Idris Elba is in talks to co-star in Guy Ritchie‘s “Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur” an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
Elba is not circling the lead role of Arthur, but rather an older Knight named Bedivere, Arthur's father's right-hand man who takes it upon himself to train the young warrior for battle as he learns his true destiny.