About three months ago it appeared that Guy Ritchie had firmed up King Arthur as his next project with the possibility of the tale stretching into six feature films (which sounds absolutely insane and near impossible to me, but whatever). There’s still no word on this six movie business (which at this point I’m taking as a sign that this will be a standalone film that will leave the option for sequels open). But now we have our first bit of casting news.
Idris Elba is in talks to join the film, which was written by Joby Harold and will be produced by Akiva Goldsman and Tory Tunnel. Warner Bros. will be releasing the film in 2D and 3D on July 22, 2016. Hit the jump for more on Idris Elba possibly joining King Arthur.
Per Variety, Elba will play a “Merlin-esque figure who trains and mentors Arthur.” The site also mentions that offers to screen-test for the lead role will be going out next week and that those tests will take place in early August. I imagine we’ll be hearing a lot of big names bandied about on casting lists around that time. Plot details for the film are under wraps, but I’d expect lots of buckles to be swashed.
Ritchie previously developed a version of a King Arthur film with producer Lionel Wigram back in 2010, but the project (written by John Hodge) died when a competing film gained more traction. Still, it’s nice to know that Ritchie has such an affinity for this material. Perhaps it’s not a pure studio paycheck gig.
Also good news? Ritchie has The Man From U.N.C.L.E. hitting on January 16th, 2015. That film stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. There has been some debate about the quality implied by a January release date, but Warner Bros. probably likes what they’ve seen since they are diving right back into business with Ritchie for Arthur.