Remember when Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur was announced? A sprawling seven movie saga to tell the entire story of Arthur, King Of The Britons from birth to death? Well, that didn’t exactly work out, did it?
Now it turns out the original plan was much different and existed long before Guy Ritchie (Aladdin, Lock Stock, Snatch) was involved.
David Dobkin, Director of this weekends comedy release Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, was originally behind the story and in an interview with Collider he recently told all.
First up, Kit Harrington (Game Of Thrones) was originally going to be the famous king.
“When he read for King Arthur, the way he does it by the time you understand who he is in that he’s honorable, his character works against him sometimes ’cause he’s so pure of heart. He carries you through Game of Thrones in such an amazing way to the end, and that is exactly what we needed for that character for the way that I wrote the script.
He was supposed to be an everyman King Arthur, not someone who pulls it and goes, ‘I won the lottery,’ but someone who pulls it and goes, ‘I’m not even equipped to do this.’
The minute he pulls the sword, the entire kingdom is trying to kill him. To me, that was what was cool.”
He said he was inspired by Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the Batman franchise to place the fantastical in a realistic world. He was lining up Joel Kinnaman for Sir Lancelot, Gary Oldman for Merlin, Marion Cotillard possibly for Morgana and Liam Neeson possibly for Galahad:
“When I sold the film to Warner Bros., there was no cast contingency. After I showed the screen tests of Joel and Kit together, we got greenlit, and a day later, the international department who saw the screen test kind of came in and were like, ‘We don’t think we can sell the movie with these two guys.’
And the pressure got harder and harder, we had already scouted Hungary. We were greenlit and on our way to making the movie.
I had a DP, Philippe Rousselot was shooting the movie. There was a production designer. Everything was up and running, and then international Warner Bros. put the brakes on the movie, and they told me we had to recast.”
Dobkin walked at this point and went to work The Judge. Guy Ritchie came in, the movie was recast and Charlie Hunnam became Arthur. The movie did very little at the box office.
Like Robin Hood we will just have to wait for another adaption to come along, as one seems to be due about every five years.