Director Guy Ritchie Gives “King Arthur” a Gritty, Modern Edge

In the film, Arthur is not yet king, but is instead a ruffian – a thoroughly reluctant hero compelled to discover his true destiny even as he fights against the very monarchy he is meant to rule.

Everyone knows the fabled Arthurian legend…or at least thinks they do. But in the hands of director Guy Ritchie, the tale takes on a decidedly gritty, modern edge in Warner Bros. Pictures' King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.

In the film, Arthur is not yet king, but is instead a ruffian – a thoroughly reluctant hero compelled to discover his true destiny even as he fights against the very monarchy he is meant to rule.

“I think the best narratives take a man on a journey that transcends his limitations and allows him to evolve from his most basic nature into someone worthy of a bigger life,” says Ritchie, who also co-wrote and produced the film. “In our version of the story, Arthur’s life starts small: an urchin in a brothel, running the streets, learning to fight and dodging the law with his mates. Then the actions of others—some with good, some with not-so-good intentions—force him to expand his vision of who he could be.”

Charlie Hunnam, who stars in the titular role, says, “Guy has taken the classic hero’s journey and created an origin story with a very accessible Arthur for a new generation. Our Arthur has grown up fending for himself, rough and ready, carving out a little world where he’s a prince among thieves. But he’s no noble soul looking for a cause.”

Nevertheless, it’s looking for him, and as soon as Arthur comes into contact with Excalibur, that extraordinary piece of iron firmly embedded in granite, his life will change forever…like it or not.


While the presence of the famed Camelot was a must, it was producer/co-writer Lionel Wigram who suggested setting the bulk of this big actioner away from the castle, in a more urban environment, and both Ritchie and Wigram were drawn to an ancient version of England’s capital: Roman London, which at the time was called Londinium.

Wigram states, “There have been many separate and differing versions of the King Arthur story, in which he has been everything from a Celtic warrior to a Roman centurion. The myth has endured and has been adapted to fit the requirements of each different time period in which it has been told. Given this rich tradition of interpretation, we felt that as long as we retained its essential thematic elements, we had license to come up with our own iteration of the story, to have some fun with the details in a way we hope will speak to today’s audiences.”

“This is an Arthur who doesn’t aspire to greatness—fate throws it at him,” Ritchie says, “and he fights it, and pretty much everyone around him, every step of the way.”

And fight he does, in visceral action sequences that include spectacular displays of bows and arrows, battles of hack-and-slash swordplay, mad dashes through the grimy back alleys of the city, and a mix of martial arts and bare-knuckle fighting. It was all captured in stunning UK locations throughout Wales and Scotland and on the cavernous Warner Bros. Leavesden soundstages, and set to a pulsating score.

It all adds up to Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in which Excalibur reveals itself, and a man’s true calling along with it.

Opening across the Philippines on May 17, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

0

Share this story

Related Content

Movie Info

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Action | Adventure | Fantasy

Articles

Jude Law Steals the Throne in "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword"
British actor Jude Law plays the villain Vortigern with equal measures of dignity and desperation in Warner Bros. Pictures' new epic action-adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.
Charlie Hunnam Faces His Destiny in "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword"
Pacific Rim hero Charlie Hunnam stars as the titular character in Warner Bros. Pictures' King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.
David Beckham Appears in a Cameo in New "King Arthur" Film
A scar-faced, broken-nosed David Beckham appears in a cameo in Warner Bros. Pictures' King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.
"King Arthur" Stars Invite PH Fans to Watch the Epic Adventure
Charlie Hunnam and Judel Law, stars of Warner Bros. Pictures' new epic action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, greet “Mabuhay Philippines!” as they invite Filipino fans to watch the film.
WATCH: 'King Arthur' Stars Invite PH Fans to Watch the Epic Adventure
Charlie Hunnam and Judel Law, stars of Warner Bros. Pictures' new epic action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, greet “Mabuhay Philippines!” as they invite Filipino fans to watch the film.
WATCH: 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' Launches Prophecy Trailer
The born king will come… it is inevitable. Warner Bros. Pictures has just launched a new trailer of its epic fantasy King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, from director Guy Ritchie. Check out the Prophecy Trailer here at ClickTheCity.
WATCH: 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' Shows Power of Excalibur in Final Trailer
Warner Bros. Pictures has just debuted the final trailer of its epic fantasy King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, from director Guy Ritchie. Check out the final trailer here at ClickTheCity!
Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law Stare Down in New "King Arthur" Posters
Charlie Hunnam's Arthur and Jude Law's Vortigern square off with their individual one-sheets for Warner Bros. Pictures' sweeping fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
WATCH: 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' Reveals Epic Scope in New Trailer
The full trailer has now arrived for Guy Ritchie’s adrenalin-fueled epic fantasy take on the Arthurian legends with Warner Bros. Pictures' sweeping fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
WATCH: 'King Arthur' gets action-packed treatment in 'Legend of the Sword' trailer
Watch the film's first trailer launched at the recent San Diego Comic-Con.

Editor's Picks

Recent Posts

More on ClickTheCity