For a director who epitomized the whiz-bang, restless kineticism of modern crime filmmaking with films like Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Guy Ritchie has been eerily quiet on the cinematic front lately. After two installments of Robert Downey Jr.’s acerbic take on Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie took over directing duties for long-troubled adaptation of the 60’s spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E, which had seen names like Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney, and Tom Cruise come and go during its development. It's due for release next year.
Unbowed by those production setbacks, Ritchie has unveiled his next project: A franchise based on Arthurian Legend. Variety is reporting that Jude Law is being courted to play the villain in Knights Of The Round Table, the first installment of a franchise that will reportedly stretch through six different installments. Never mind that Touchstone’s attempt to coronate this same king back in 2004 erupted into box office flames, but Warner Bros. executives must believe they’ve found their own cinematic Holy Grail.
Pacific Rim dynamo Charlie Hunnam will take the crown as Arthur, and I, Origins upstart Astrid Berges-Frisbey will co-star as his queen, Guinevere. Ritchie is still searching for the rest of the King’s Court, including Arthur’s mentor Bedivere, after Idris Elba was forced to drop out due to contract disputes. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too broken up that this fairy tale won’t serve as an unofficial Pacific Rim reunion (although we wouldn’t object to seeing Charlie Day on a horse).
Knights Of The Round Table will gallop into theaters on July 22, 2016. Will it trot into the Winner's Circle? This forecaster says, "Neigh."