Warner Bros. has been itching to get a King Arthur movie made for years now, with people like Colin Farrell, Kit Harington, and Joel Kinnaman attached at various points before all of those projects eventually fell through. But now it appears that the studio has found the man who will pull the sword from the stone: Variety reports that “Sons of Anarchy” and Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam is in final negotiations to take on the iconic role.
Avengers: Age of Ultron star Elizabeth Olsen is reportedly the frontrunner to play Guinevere, but there isn’t any solid word yet about whether she’s technically in negotiations for the part at this point. If all of this pans out, Hunnam and Olsen will join Idris Elba, who has already been cast as a Merlin-esque figure who is Arthur’s father’s right hand man, who eventually teaches the young king to lead an army.
Olsen is a great pick who seems to be able to do no wrong these days, and I could easily see her taking on a lead role in a period piece like this. While I’m always a proponent of female characters having more to do than being only love interests and I’d love to see Olsen kick some ass in this movie, look no further than the 2004 film King Arthur and Kiera Knightley’s performance as what NOT to do in that situation.
Hunnam reportedly beat out Henry Cavill (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Jai Courtney (Terminator: Genisys) for the role. Awake screenwriter and Edge of Tomorrow producer Joby Harold wrote the screenplay, and he’ll produce alongside Akiva Goldsman and Tory Tunnell. The movie is slated for a July 22, 2016 release, and depending on what source you read, this could be the first movie in a six-part series that the studio has in mind. That’s quite an ambitious plan that sounds extremely expensive (period pieces often are very costly), but Warner Bros. has been searching for a franchise to replace Harry Potter ever since that one ended. And even though we know that spin-off/prequel/thing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is coming soon, it appears that this King Arthur project is something that the studio has its heart set on and just won’t let go, so expect to see more news about it in the coming months if they’re going to make that 2016 release date.
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