Joe Cornish directing Attack the Block

When filmmaker Joe Cornish burst onto the scene with his terrific sci-fi thriller Attack the Block back in 2011, I was convinced he’d be the next big thing. But that was just before it became common Hollywood practice to hand massive studio franchises to guys who had just one film on their resumes, and while Cornish has been credited with some screenplays since 2011, he hasn’t directed another feature yet. Everyone who’s seen Attack the Block knows just how unfortunate that is.

But fear not: after six years, it sounds like Cornish is finally getting the chance to get behind the camera once again for a movie called The Kid Who Would Be King.

A casting director named Jessica Ronane posted an announcement on Twitter (via The Playlist), and alerted us to the existence of this project:

In case that tweet gets taken down, it describes The Kid Who Would Be King as “a family fantasy action-adventure movie about a band of young kids embarking on an epic quest to thwart a Medieval menace.” That sounds like it’s bursting with potential.

As a grown man, I regularly find myself annoyed with child performances in modern movies. Too often, kids seem to be raised through the Disney Channel school of over-enunciating and “playing to the back row,” which strips them of anything approaching realism. But as Attack the Block proved, Cornish knows how to coax excellent performances from younger actors; after all, an unknown named John Boyega delivered a powerhouse performance in that movie and ended up as one of the stars of the biggest movie franchise in the world.

And as much as child actors might annoy me, I do lament the fact that kids growing up today don’t have many modern equivalents of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin movies we all grew up watching in the ’80s and ’90s. Perhaps not coincidentally, Attack the Block is the best example I can think of. This new movie sounds like it could fill that niche nicely.

Since 2011, Cornish co-wrote drafts of Ant-Man and Tintin with his longtime collaborator Edgar Wright, and flirted with directing Kong: Skull Island, Star Trek Beyond, RustSnow Crash, Gambit, and an MI6 thriller called Section 6. I was beginning to think he’d never make another movie again, and I’m glad that this one sounds like it holds so much promise.

The Kid Who Would Be King opens in theaters on September 28, 2018.

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