Jude Law may soon be reuniting with director Guy Ritchie, but it’s not for another Sherlock Holmes film. The actor is in talks to play the villain in Ritchie’s ambitious King Arthur take Knights of the Round Table, which has Charlie Hunnam set to star as Arthur in a potential franchise that is planned to go six films deep. Warner Bros. has been trying to get a King Arthur movie off the ground for a long time now and they previously came close with director David Dobkin (The Judge) who had Joel Kinnaman and Kit Harington set to star before budget issues forced WB to pull the plug. The project came back together with Ritchie, who brought his own take on the King Arthur tale to table. And now a key piece of the puzzle is close to coming together with Law circling the antagonist role.
Hit the jump for more, including the news that Idris Elba has dropped out of contention for another role in the film.
Per Variety, Law is in negotiations to play the Knights of the Round Table villain, though it’s currently unclear if he’ll only be appearing in the first picture or if his role is planned to recur throughout the franchise. As previously reported, Ritchie and Warner Bros. have a plan for the story to take place over the course of six films, which kind of makes you wonder why this isn’t just a miniseries. Regardless, Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) is onboard to play Guinevere and a release date has been staked out for July 22, 2016.
Idris Elba was previously in talks to play Arthur’s mentor in the film, but Variety notes that a deal could not be reached and the two sides parted ways. This is the last major role to be cast before the film starts production, so Ritchie is currently meeting with actors for the part.
The villain in a King Arthur movie marks a rather exciting turn for Law, who has been doing fantastic work as of late in films like Dom Hemingway and Anna Karenina. The prospect of seeing him lead a big franchise film such as this is—in the Big Bad role, no less—is pretty neat.