You wouldn’t be faulted for assuming that a new movie of King Arthur had to be another live-action version from Disney. And while the Mouse House is busy with multiple live-action versions of some of its most celebrated cartoons, The Sword In The Stone is not among them (yet). Instead, Warner Bros. has teamed up with Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) to bring to the screen a new version of the boy who would be king. However, it appears Excalibur will have to wait in the stone a little longer.
Initially slated for July 2016, Warner Bros. has announced a shuffling of the schedule. According to Deadline, Ritchie’s currently untitled film will move to February 17, 2017 (President’s Day weekend). That is quite the change, for rather than serving the role as a tentpole picture in the usual summer blockbuster months, the film is being relegated to the winter calendar.
However, while that time of year isn’t known for exceptional box-office performances, Warner Bros. is basing the decision on experience. As Deadline notes, Warner Bros. is hoping to recreate the success of another February release: Kingsman: The Secret Service. That film bowed last February and ended up with a domestic box office haul of $128.3 million on top of earning $286 million abroad.
Warner Bros. is also keeping in mind the previous performances of Ritchie’s films. Both of his Sherlock Holmes films debuted in the winter months to strong box office performances. Beyond that, Warner Bros. hopes the new date will “capitalize on those kids on winter break holidays, not just here in the states, but also overseas where the title is being prepped to roll out throughout western Europe.”
The new iteration of the classic story stars Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as King Arthur. He is accompanied with a formidable cast that includes Eric Bana as Arthur’s father King Uther Pendragon, Djimon Hounsou as Resistance leader Bedivere, Jude Law as the villain Vortigern, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) as Guinevere.
We’ll have to wait a little longer to learn if this new version is better than the 2004 version (or maybe it’s easy to make that judgement now). Regardless, it’ll be nice to have another proper take on the classic tale, especially one with a cast like that led by Ritchie. Until then, check out the synopsis below (and enjoy this video):
The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who 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—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, 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 stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.