With the year winding down, it looks like executives at Warner Bros. have been looking at the year ahead and wondering WTF have they greenlit. Just yesterday word arrived that they were putting Alex Proyas' expensive, 3D, motion-capture adaptation of "Paradise Lost" on hold to get the budget and script under control. And now, another high profile movie may be getting the axe altogether.
Deadline report that David Dobkin's "Arthur & Lancelot" is now facing scrutiny from the suits, with the proposed $90 million budget now soaring upwards of $130 million. Granted, these days that's par for a blockbuster movie, but when the picture is toplined by two relatively unknown leads ("The Killing" star Joel Kinnaman and "Game Of Thrones" thesp Kit Harington) that suddenly becomes a very expensive risk. The film is poised to be some sort of contemporary reimagining of the classic characters, but now the question is whether or not it will even get off the ground.
WB are so concerned that they're actually encouraging Dobkin to try and set up the movie at another studio. But that brings with it it's own set of obstacles. Budget aside, scheduling is a factor as well as Dobkin is getting his leads while they are both on hiatus from their respective AMC and HBO shows. He would need someone not only to step in fast, but be able to get this one moving quick. A spring shoot was being eyed, with Warner Bros. planning the movie for a March 15, 2013 release (a date that is now clearly open).
A bit of irony here is that WB kiboshed the other fantasy pics they had developing -- namely in form of competing "Excalibur" remakes from Guy Ritchie and Bryan Singer -- to push on with Dobkin's movie. But now it seems they're getting out of that game altogether. We also wonder if this means there will be even more pressure to get "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (with Ritchie attached) moving to fill the gap left by planned blockbusters that are now on hold. We also wonder if "Akira" with Garrett Hedlund will also be looked at in the coming days as well.
Things are being shaken up at WB and it looks like if you're not Batman or Sherlock Holmes, you'll be getting a serious look.