In a decade filled with franchise revivals and remakes, one of the most tapped properties is King Arthur: the legendary wielder of Excalibur from British folklore and history. For some strange reason, producers saw the stories of King Arthur and decided that he had has as much franchise potential as Marvel's Avengers.
King Arthur became the chosen ruler and hero of Camelot after he fulfilled an ancient prophecy by pulling the legendary sword Excalibur from its rock prison. His ensuing adventures and reign as king would later be immortalized in British mythology and universal pop culture - including multiple film adaptations and an upcoming police procedural TV show.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
The first major project based on King Arthur's mythos is director Guy Ritchie's take on the lore of Camelot, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. In this origin story, a young Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) is unaware of his royal destiny until he wields the sword of Excalibur and joins a resistance movement being mounted against the tyrant Vortigern (Jude Law). If things go as planned, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will be the first of six confirmed movies in a shared cinematic universe set in Camelot.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will also be King Arthur's biggest movie since the 2004 epic King Arthur that starred Clive Owen as the titular character. While the latter was dismissed for its supposed historical revisionism among other things, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword aims to attract a new audience by modernizing the character's lore but keeping the time period intact - similar to what Guy Ritchie did for Britain's most famous detective Sherlock Holmes in his last two cinematic outings.
Of the three stories listed here, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is expected to be the most faithful to its source material. Which is already weird considering that Legend of the Sword has a tone highly similar to that of Guy Ritchie's gangland tales Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Check out the trailer for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword below.
Guy Ritchie's version of Arthur isn't the only one headed for the big screen, however. The king will appear in another sequel, too.
Transformers: The Last Knight
The last thing people would expect a franchise built on gigantic robots fighting in urban locations is for a sequel to incorporate medieval mythology into the story. That's exactly what director Michael Bay has in store for the fifth Transformers movie, Transformers: The Last Knight.
The rumors that Transformers: The Last Knight would take its title literally were proven true when it was confirmed that actor Liam Garrigan would play the role of King Arthur. Liam Garrigan already portrayed the character in ABC's Once Upon a Time, so this is nothing new for him save for the fact that he will be interacting with alien robots instead of other characters from fairy tales. He will also be joined by the wizard Merlin who is set to be played by Santiago Cabrera. Santiago Cabrera is perhaps most known for his role in Heroes as Isaac Mendez, who has the ability to foresee the future through his paintings.
We don't know how the medieval Arthurian lore will be introduced into Transformer's modern day sci-fi setting, but time travel and flashbacks would be good guesses. The Last Knight will reportedly follow Optimus Prime on his quest to recover Excalibur in his attempts to resurrect his dead homeworld of Cybertron, and King Arthur and company are expected to help him along the way.
The only thing possibly more outlandish than King Arthur fighting alongside a robot is trying to imagine the king of Camelot solving modern day murders as a wisecracking freelance detective. What's even weirder is that a studio decided to turn this premise into a full-blown TV show.
Titled Camelot, this modernized version of Arthurian lore will follow a graffiti artist named Art who teams up with his best friend Lance and his ex, an idealistic cop named Gwen, to stop an ancient evil from running amok in Manhattan. The pilot was written by the people behind the upcoming Bleeding Kansas and will air on Fox, the network behind other revisionist procedural shows like Lucifer and Sleepy Hollow.
Camelot's summary reads like a silly joke written by a sketch comedian or a cynical critic. How it will revitalize King Arthur's story, while paying respect and homage to the legends of old, has yet to be seen. If Fox's record is anything to go by, Camelot may end up in good hands since their aforementioned revisionist shows have small yet strong cult followings. Until more details surface, let the strangeness of Camelot settle down in your minds while you accept the weird stuff King Arthur will be going through in the near future.