Camelot is All Machismo and Monsters in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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Warner Brothers has released the latest trailer for Guy Ritchie’s retelling of the Arthurian mythos, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and it is all about the action. The trailer includes explosions, city-smashing monsters, and a scene that’s either a Rocky-style training montage or a fit of shirtless fury.

With the teaser, “From nothing comes a king,” Legend of the Sword may be going for a more Game of Thrones, rise-to-power atmosphere. In an earlier interview, Ritchie actually explicitly cited that show as an inspiration for his own movie, saying, “[Game of Thrones] turned it into an exciting genre, so it’s trying to find a voice within the genre…[They] came up with their own voice, and they stuck to it. It was bold and identified. So it was me trying to find a version of that, a PG version.”

The Arthurian mythos has been adapted too many times to count, so Ritchie’s really free to leave his own stamp on it. From the tragedy and whimsy of T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, to the melancholy of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s feminist The Mists of Avalon, it’s clear that a good Arthur story can take any shape or theme. Based on this trailer, Ritchie is gunning for a more stylized, high-octane fantasy, which certainly fits with his past work.

But I do have to ask…where are the women? The film’s initial synopsis suggested that there would be a significant role for Guinevere:

“A streetwise young Arthur…runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur. Instantly challenged by the sword’s power, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern — who murdered his parents and stole his crown — and become king.”

However, there isn’t much of her in the trailer itself, and she didn’t have any lines in the Comic-Con trailer either. Here’s hoping we hear some women speak in the film itself.

Starring Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim) as Arthur, and Jude Law as his evil uncle Vortigern, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opens on May 12, 2017.

(Via Collider and Deadline; image via screengrab from Warner Brothers’ video)

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