Dive deep into the Arthurian legend of the main who pulled a sword from a stone with Cheryl Tang, as she explores the first of six King Arthur instalments. 

By Cheryl Tang

The existence of King Arthur has been debated for centuries, but the myth of the sword, named Excalibur, may ring a bell for some – and this legend will come to life again on the silver screen in fantasy flick King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur, who grows up in the back alleys of the city and later pulls out the sword, becoming king. Source: King Arthur Facebook
Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur, who grows up in the back alleys of the city and later pulls out the sword, becoming king. Photo courtesy of: King Arthur Facebook

In this adaptation, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is robbed of his throne after his father is murdered. Unaware of his royal lineage, he is left to survive on the streets under the dictatorship of Vortigern (Jude Law). That is until he pulls Excalibur from the stone. The legend goes that whoever successfully manages to pull Excalibur is the real king.

Following this feat, Arthur’s life is turned upside down as he has no choice but to accept his destiny to unite the broken kingdom and defeat Vortigern, the man who murdered his parents and stole his crown.

This Warner Bros production is directed, written and produced by Guy Ritchie, who has directed several notable films like Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).

Hunnam, who has starred in the popular television show Sons of Anarchy as well as films such as Pacific Rim (2013) and Crimson Peak (2015), plays the titular character. Oscar-nominated Law, who worked with Ritchie in the two Sherlock Holmes movies, plays the antagonist.

The cast also features Astrid Bergès-Frisbey from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as love interest Guinevere, Star Trek’s Eric Bana, Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen and includes a cameo by football star David Beckham.

Source: King Arthur Facebook
The movie poster for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Photo courtesy of: King Arthur Facebook

This ambitious six-film series is a re-imagined version of the Arthurian story surrounding legendary King Arthur, who is believed to have defended Britain against invaders in the sixth century.

Today, the legend of King Arthur lives on in adaptations for theater, film, television, comics and other media. Past film adaptations include Disney’s The Sword in the Stone (1963), the acclaimed Excalibur (1981) and the most recent, King Arthur (2004), which was unfortunately a box office flop despite its star-studded cast.

Ritchie may just be the next to attempt to breathe new life into this legend, but with the slate of sword fighting, heroes versus villains and multi-film movies being released, does it really stand a chance in the box office?

“I think where the pitfall has often been is trying to make King Arthur bland and nice, and nice and bland. The two qualities make rather compatible bed companions. Unfortunately, they’re not interesting to watch,” Ritchie told Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “Good guys are boring… Our King Arthur is not a good guy from the beginning.”

Rachael Yow, 19, a Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, said: “I’m excited to watch the movie – the trailer looks really good! But I’m not sure if it’ll be successful if it has 6 parts, especially with other movies such as The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner. Maybe the producers can consider branching out to focus on other characters in the legend such as Lancelot, rather than just Arthur.”

Regardless, we are excited to see how well this version of King Arthur does against its previous rivals.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opens in cinemas May 18, 2017.