Last week, it was reported that Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) and Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones) were the frontrunners to star in Arthur & Lancelot, a reinvention of the Arthurian legend by writer/director David Dobkin (The Change-Up). Heat Vision has now confirmed Warner Bros. signed Kinnaman to play Lancelot. The next step is for Kinnaman to do chemistry reads with a number of young actors vying for the role of Arthur, including Harrington, Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Dominic Cooper (Captain America), Hans Matheson (Sherlock Holmes), Jim Sturgess (21), Liam Hemsworth (The Last Song), and Benjamin Walker (star of the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). I really liked Kinnaman’s work in The Killing—there’s a great intensity to his screen presence. Cooper is similar in that vein, but otherwise, the list suggests Dobkin’s Arthur is more boyish in contrast to Kinnaman as Sir Lancelot.
Hit the jump to read Dobkin describe how he approached the update of the classic story.
Steve talked to Dobkin this summer while he was promoting The Change-Up, and the director was excited to talk about Arthur & Lancelot:
“I pulled the legend apart. I only kept a few things. I kept certain characters, I recreated the entire launch of the legend and why it starts the way that it starts, I don’t want to give away too much but it’s always had a flaw. I pulled the flaws out, I reinvented the characters as grounded characters. I took a much more realistic and grounded approach towards everybody, you know why would this character be this way and why would this character be that way? You know Arthur’s superpower is compassion and vision. I will tell you this, the whole thing is wrapped around the birth of democracy as a concept and it’s positing Arthur as the first man to say all men are created equal.”
I don’t know the legend well enough to identify that flaw. I am curious what exactly Dobkin is referring to, and how it will change the dynamic of the story. I like to see Dobkin working outside his comedic comfort zone, and clearly enthused by the material. With Kinnaman on board, he’s off to a promising start.
Arthur & Lancelot is scheduled for release on March 15, 2013.