Medieval fantasy films are a tried and true genre in filmmaking, entertaining moviegoers for decades. Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings franchise was a massive sweeping adventure that dominated pop culture, while Game of Thrones was the most popular show on TV during its tenure on HBO. Now Pete's Dragon director Pete Lowery will put his own spin on the genre with the upcoming blockbuster The Green Knight.
The Green Knight is set in the days of King Arthur, but will follow a different set of characters. Slumdog Millionaire's Dev Patel stars as protagonist Sir Gawain, Arthur's nephew. He sets off on a mission to find the Green Knight, who is supposed to be a giant green-skinned monster. The movie's first trailer just arrived, check it out.
The tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an ancient story from the 14th century, that's been adapted into film a couple of times before. This new version, The Green Knight certainly shows us a handful of moments that those of us that studied medieval literature in college will certainly remember. At the same time, we also see a lot her that shows this new adaptation will include some fresh elements not present in the original story.
The trailer is really well put together. It's spooky and dark and certainly will have people wondering what's in store for Dev Patel's character.
For those of us that didn't study the story in school Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tells the story of the titular Green Knight, who arrives at King Arthur's court at Camelot with a challenge. He dares any member of King Arthur's court to strike him with an axe. The catch is that a year and a day later, the Green Knight will have the chance to return the blow. King Arthur's nephew, Sir Gawain takes up the challenge, and actually beads the Green Knight, but the Green Knight then stands up laughs, picks up his head, and reminds Gawain they have a date for a year and a day from now.
The majority of the story follows Gawain as he travels to the appointed location for what he assumes will be his death. Without spoiling the ending, one gets the impression from this trailer that things won't quite end up in the movie the way the original story ended. Sir Gawain works best as one piece in the larger canon of Arthurian Legend. As a stand alone story, it will likely need a few changes.
We see the beheading of the Green Knight in the trailer told as part of a puppet show. It's a safe bet that we'll still see the actual event in the film. The movie looks to focus much more on the year and a day period between the two events, which will give us an opportunity to get to know Sir Gawain a bit better in order to establish a strong character arc.
The Green Knight will be in theaters in May.