Sequel Saturday: Guy Ritchie Likes to Push the Pram a Lot, by Mat Bradley-Tschirgi
Guy Ritchie, the British director dude who was married to Madonna once upon a time, is getting ready to helm Knights of the Round Table, the first in a planned sextet of flicks based of the Arthurian legend of lore. Variety reports Jude Law may be joining the cast as a villain. Don’t get too excited now.
Although everyone is jumping on the Avengers multi-film franchise bandwagon (why have a trilogy when you can have three trilogies, two spin-offs, and a licensed ale in under a decade’s time?), the classic tales of King Arthur make sense for this kind of treatment. The source material, perhaps best known from Sir Thomas Malory’s tome Le Morte d’Arthur, features dozens of characters, memorable scenarios a plenty, and an overarching narrative that spans generations.
Hell, you could take the storyline from John Boorman’s Excalibur and break that into six films pretty easily. The first would be a prequel detailing Arthur’s conception and the fall of his father, Uther Pendragon. The second film focuses on the Arthur meeting Merlin and pulling the sword from the stone. This first “trilogy” would end with the knights forming their very merry Round Table. The second “trilogy” could be on the quest for the Holy Grail ending with the climactic confrontation between Mordred and Arthur. A light, fluffy trilogy followed by a dark, nasty one.
Ritchie had a convoluted take on Sherlock Holmes with his recent duology that was bettered by the BBC series at a fraction of the budget. Still, he has style and a knack for interesting casting. If Uwe Boll can recreate iconic shots from The Fellowship of the Ring on a budget for his camp classic In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, so can the director of Swept Away. The real question is can audiences take a King Arthur tale seriously after they were lampooned so brilliantly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail