'Game of Thrones' & 'Killing' Stars Kit Harington & Joel Kinnaman Lead Race For 'Arthur & Lancelot'

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 21, 2011 10:51 AM
3 Comments
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For the moment, David Dobkin's "Arthur & Lancelot" is mostly known as being the fantasy pic that killed both Bryan Singer and Guy Ritchie's competing "Excalibur" remakes at Warner Bros. With a project that was further along, WB threw their weight behind "Wedding Crashers" director David Dobkin's pic and with shooting scheduled to begin next year, they are beginning to start casting it up and as usual, a plethora of names have come out of the woodwork.

Speaking to the power of cable TV, "Game of Thrones" and "The Killing" stars Kit Harington and Joel Kinnaman (respectively) have emerged as the frontrunners, and while it's unclear who is up for Arthur or Lancelot, the duo did a screen test together in London a couple of weeks ago. The pair apparently beat out a bevy of other contenders including Sam Claflin, Dominic Cooper, Hans Matheson, Jim Sturgess, Ben Walker and Liam Hemsworth, notable in that none of these thesps are big names or proven tentpole actors. Walker and Hemsworth will find out if they've got what it takes when "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "The Hunger Games" are released next year (and the duo have booked other profile roles since , the former in "Paradise Lost" and the latter in "The Expendables 2"). That said, with roles in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," "Safe House" and "Lola Versus," Kinnaman's profile will certainly be much bigger by the time the movie lands in 2013. But it's interesting to see these lower profile names leading the pack, though we wonder if these are just Dobkin's preferences and if the studio is holding out for someone potentially bigger. Because this one ain't cheap.

Budgeted at $90 million, the film will take the classic figures of history and legend and rework them into a contemporary re-imagining. “I pulled the legend apart. I only kept a few things. I kept certain characters, I recreated the entire launch of the legend and why it starts the way that it starts, I don’t want to give away too much but it’s always had a flaw,” Dobkin said about the movie over the summer. “I pulled the flaws out, I reinvented the characters as grounded characters. I took a much more realistic and grounded approach towards everybody, you know, why would this character be this way and why would this character be that way? You know Arthur’s superpower is compassion and vision. I will tell you this, the whole thing is wrapped around the birth of democracy as a concept and it’s positing Arthur as the first man to say all men are created equal.”

We're not sure about the political allusions in there, but we figure that will be buried under FX and explosions and shit. "Arthur & Lancelot" arrives on March 15, 2013

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3 Comments

  • Kotomi | October 24, 2011 7:30 AMReply

    >..this just seems like a bad choice, you had the opportunity to have an Arthur project from Bryan Singer and go with a mainstream comedy director instead? Dobkin who has had one relative commercial success and who just brought us the bomb The Change-up?

    Agreed.He also directed "Shanghai Knights" and "Fred Claus".Not that great films.However he seems like he wrote the script himself.I think that’s why he will direct,According his another comment in the Collider interview,probably his script not bad.

    >[i]David Dobkin[/i]: "I had this idea for almost a decade about how to reinvent it and I sat down and wrote that script over the last few years. It went out on the town about a month ago and there was an—you know I’m sure it’s been in the trades and everything—there was a big bidding war for it. Warner Bros. scooped it up and they said “we’ll make it right away,” so we are in the process of casting and crewing up the movie and you know we’re off to the races, we’re looking at a sometime in the first quarter, hopefully January, start to that."

    But anyway,I'm rather glad Jim Sturgess won't star in it.This project doesn’t sound good.

  • Mike | October 23, 2011 5:43 AMReply

    Well, maybe you just wanna change it to Kit Harington, with just one R.

  • Mike | October 22, 2011 10:40 AMReply

    Dobkin? I'm a huge King Arthur nut going all the way back to before I could read, but this just seems like a bad choice, you had the opportunity to have an Arthur project from Bryan Singer and go with a mainstream comedy director instead? Dobkin who has had one relative commercial success and who just brought us the bomb The Change-up?

    Yeah good choice. Perhaps in an experiment at a lower budget, but this just doesn't seem smart.

    Also, the birth of democracy? Last time I checked the origins of democracy were far earlier than the 6th century, and the origins of universal rights in modern times are from the Magna Carta era centuries later. I know it's putting a spin on what is a myth, but this seems like a poor excuse to re-do the story.

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