As a subject, King Arthur movies never really die out. If there’s a particularly bad one it will retreat to the Isle of Avalon, lying in wait until a big studio needs a tentpole with name recognition. Then it will emerge from the mists of time, ready to reclaim its fantasy throne from the upstarts. You thought you were the apex of the sword and sorcery genre, Game of Thrones. You know nothing.
It’s about that time again, as after several false starts Warner Bros. is reportedly considering a six-film King Arthur saga, to be directed by Guy Ritchie.
The history of Warner Bros.’ failed King Arthur movies, as reported on Deadline, is a veritable saga in and of itself. Back in 2010 the studio had two King Arthur projects in development, one by Ritchie and the other by Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin, which at various points Colin Farrell, Gary Oldman, Kit Harington, and Joel Kinnaman were rumored to star in. The Ritchie movie fell by the wayside, as did a planned Excalibur remake, and Dobkin’s film was canned for being too expensive.
Now Warner Bros., on the hunt for a post-Harry Potter franchise they can make bank on, is back to Ritchie, only instead of one film the plan is reportedly for six. (With the final film to be broken down into parts one and two somewhere down the line, I’m sure). There’s no word on how the series will approach the King Arthur legend except that it will be fantasy (unlike the 2004 Keira Knightley movie, which was touted as a “demystified” approach). There’s not even any confirmation that the series is definitely happening, and even if there were, this is a pretty big undertaking that could easily linger in development hell for a long, long time. We know the first movie is being written by by Joby Harold, whose only film writing credit is the Jessica Alba and Hayden Chrisensen-starring 2007 thriller Awake. That’s about it.
Which means it’s time to shoot the shit and talk about what we’d want from an epic King Arthur fantasy series. An entire movie devoted to Morgana wrecking everybody’s business is the beginning and the end of that list for me. And John Hurt can be there. And maybe Anthony Stewart Head. Guys, I just want Merlin back.