It appears that Guy Ritchie will have some competition in the King Arthur movie department. The Sherlock Holmes helmer is currently in production on the Warner Bros. pic Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur, a gritty take on the classic tale starring Charlie Hunnam. And now a competing King Arthur project is looking to get off the ground, albeit with a very different angle.
Deadline reports that Wrath of the Titans and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director Jonathan Liebesman is attached to direct Man at Arms for Thunder Road Pictures, which is described as an Unforgiven-esque twist on the King Arthur story. This project follows an older Sir Lancelot as he sets out to make amends after his love for Guinevere ends up destroying Camelot.
The film comes from screenwriter Jeremy Lott, who famously sold a “shared universe Robin Hood franchise” pitch to Sony Pictures last fall for a cool $1 million. Liebesman most recently helmed Paramount Pictures’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. Despite the box office success, Liebesman is not returning to direct the sequel.
Man at Arms is the latest in a line of fantasy-tinged projects gaining steam at studios, despite the complete lack of box office evidence to support a public desire for such films. It’s possible the studios have been spurred by the success of Game of Thrones, but Robin Hood and his Merry Men are a far cry from Jon Snow and the Mother of Dragons. There are a number of Robin Hood movies in development at the moment, including a revisionist take at Disney, an edgy origin story at Lionsgate, and the aforementioned “shared universe” project at Sony.
Out of all of these similar-sounding projects, though, I have to admit Liebesman’s take sounds the most interesting, even if people aren’t exactly clamoring for more King Arthur stories. Given the glut of films in development, I’ll be curious to see which (if any) actually make it to production.