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Guy Ritchie Working on 6 Film King Arthur Series

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 29, 2014 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | January 29, 2014 |

Hey, remember when Guy Ritchie was that nifty up and coming British director who kept making off the wall clever comedies of crime and violence? Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels? He introduced us to the Statham, to Brad Pitt speaking in tongues, and generally gave off a sort of Tarantino vibe.

Then he married Madonna and shit got weird.

Then he divorced Madonna and he shifted gears back to the Downey version of Sherlock Holmes, which is serviceable if not Cumberbatchian.

So now, Guy Ritchie wants to tell the story of King Arthur in a six film epic. I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, the story of King Arthur is fantastic fodder for film, and it has never really been done all the way right. There were a couple of memorable takes a good three decades ago at this point, but since then we’ve endured Richard Gere as Sir Lancelot in as monumentally bad a film as has ever been made. Not to mention 2004’s King Arthur, which manages to be retrospectively even more disappointing on account of starring Clive Owen, Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, and Kiera Knightley’s dislocated jaw from the header picture.

The problem is that filmmakers don’t seem to have the slightest clue why the Arthur legend is so enduring. They just have no inkling of the layers of metaphor and resonance that the story has when told over and over again. They just see swords and battle, and don’t understand why that’s falling flat on the screen (also see: Petrus Jacksonitis, a related disease).

So yeah, Ritchie might convince some studio to front $150 million to set up this tent pole, and then it’ll flop as hard a narcoleptic high diver, and then studios will draw the conclusion that the problem is with the source material and not with the fact that they keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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