Earlier this month we reported a rumor that Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) has been attached to direct an untitled King Arthur project for Warner Bros., from an Excalibur film treatment that Warren Willis was writing last year. We also reported that the film, which is described as being in the tone of Star Wars, would be going out to screenwriters to rewrite the script.
Now Variety confirms that Ritchie will indeed direct, and that Warner Bros. has brought in Trainspotting scribe John Hodge to work on the script with Ritchie.
The film will use Le Morte d'Arthur as its key source material, the Thomas Mallory compilation of tales published back in 1485 about the legend of Arthur, who is believed to have been a 6th century king who defended Britain against Saxon invaders.
There are a couple of other King Arthur projects in the works, with Bryan Singer's Excalibur a remake of John Boorman's 1981 film, and Sylvain White's Pendragon, which serves as an origin story for young Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere as they meet at Camelot.
Ellis' version however, focused primarily on the gathering of the legendary Knights of the Roundtable. I hope it stays that way with Hodge's rewriting of the script, that's what is keeping it unique from the other adaptations being developed.
Even though this is being described as a Star Wars-style Excalibur, I imagine the gathering of the Knights as something more akin to a sports film. The gathering of a big ensemble, with someone leading them to a seemingly impossible task? Just replace Knight with football player, or hockey player, and have a couple of guys who don't like each other working together... and it's a sports film, with blood of course.