October 21, 2011 | Posted by Linda Ge
Let’s be clear here: I’m a huge Arthurian legend fan and even bigger Lancelot fan. After a string of onscreen adaptations that have seen the marginalizing of Arthur’s best friend, right hand man and ultimate downfall (“King Arthur”, “Merlin”, “Camelot”, I’m looking at you), it’s a relief to hear of a project that has Lancelot’s name right there in the title. No way they can mess him up in this one, right? Comedy director David Dobkin has been tasked with developing and directing “Arthur and Lancelot”, a modern re-imagining of the iconic friendship and rivalry between King and Knight, and the project is one step closer to becoming reality as he has zeroed in on a couple of newcomers for the title roles.
The Playlist reports “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington and “The Killing” star Joel Kinnaman are the front-runners for the two lead roles, though it’s unclear who’s up for which. The two relative unknowns beat out a legion of other up and comers, some fairly more famous but no A-Listers: Sam Claflin, Dominic Cooper, Hans Matheson, Jim Sturgess, Ben Walker and Liam Hemsworth. Harington and Kinnaman have not officially signed on nor received official offers, but did screen test together for the director in London a couple of weeks ago.
The plot of the film remains vague, with Dobkin seeming to indicate it might be a loose interpretation of the basic structure of the legend (sigh!). “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,” he told The Playlist. “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.” Ok, that sounds great, but at least some of it is about Guinevere… right?
We’ll get to see when the movie is released on March 15, 2013, but in the meantime, Harington is back at work on season 2 of HBO’s monstrous hit “Game of Thrones”, while Kinnaman is on the second season of the slightly less successful and much more divisive “The Killing”. On film though, Kinnaman’s star should be rising fast after breaking out in hit Swedish thriller “Snabba Cash”; with roles as Daniel Craig and Robin Wright’s magazine co-editor in David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and as the man who operates Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington’s “Safe House.” He’ll next be seen as one of a quartet of young Americans -with Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor and Max Minghella – who fend off an alien attack in Russia in “The Darkest Hour”, out in December.