Guy Ritchie? Helming a sword-swinging Excaliber film starring the burly Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) and the diabolical Jude Law? As it turns out, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword delivers everything that you think would come with that promise, as we can now tell in the first full trailer for the powerfully energetic adventure. Check out the first footage for King Arthur below:
This movie is... confusing? It appears to be retelling the story of Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who we are told in this movie was "born to be king." And we see the defining moment of the leader pulling his magical sword from its stone. But there are other elements to the trailer that almost suggest a modern element. Did I actually see people dressed in contemporary garb? What sorcery is Jude Law commanding? He isn't playing Merlin, but instead a villain named Vortigern. Just how different from the widely accepted King Arthur tale will Guy Ritchie's new movie actually be?
The rest of the trailer, however, is PURE Guy Ritchie. It opens on an action beat, with characters running and screaming, and the energy of the piece never really descends from that high. Charlie Hunnam looks to be back in Sons of Anarchy scruff mode to play Arthur, and I'm excited to see which actors fill the seats at his iconic round table. In addition to Hunnam, we know that Tom Wu, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, David Beckham (!!!), Katie McGrath, Aidan Gillen amd Annabelle Wallis have been cast in the movie. But the action set pieces and the fight choreography stole the focus of this first trailer. That likely was the point.
And now, the bigger question. What audience will turn up for a Guy Ritchie-directed King Arthur movie? The director's last few films have been hit and miss, outside of the Sherlock Holmes franchise. (which trades heavily on King Arthur co-star Law's chemistry with Robert Downey Jr.) The Man From U.N.C.L.E. flamed out. Rock N Rolla never really took off. The director is capable of bringing in crowds, but how interested are people in another Arthur story?
We will find out soon enough, as Warner Bros. plans to open this potential franchise launcher on March 24, 2017. That's the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice slot, and while that movie did very well, it had a built-in, foolproof audience. Will King Arthur? We will find out soon enough.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.