Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Prolific writer Warren Ellis has a post on his site today that mentions a project he didn’t get a chance to talk about while doing press for his Marvel Anime projects at Comic Con. He has penned a draft of an Arthurian movie for Hollywood Gang, the outfit that optioned his graphic novel Ocean and previously co-produced 300. The reason you might be interested (or, some of you may be alarmed) in the project, in case Ellis tackling Arthur wasn’t enough, is after the jump.
On my desk, the treatment is called Untitled Arthurian Project.
On their desk, the project is called EXCALIBUR.
Except that in the original Ellis post, the word ‘Excalibur’ is in red and links to the Wikipedia page for the 1981 John Boorman film. He doesn’t seem to consider it a remake of the Boorman movie, but evidently Hollywood Gang does; maybe that’s how it has to be packaged to a studio in order to get the thing made? Fortunately, Ellis tells AICN a bit more.
‘Untitled Arthurian Project,’ as I call it (just so I can’t feel John Boorman’s EXCALIBUR looming down at me from my DVD shelf), differs from the prior 751 King Arthur movies in many ways, but perhaps most obviously in that it is very specifically about the gathering of the Knights.
In Excalibur, the main ‘gathering of the knights’ aspect of the story is handled by the long sequence where Arthur meets Lancelot, bests him and ultimately ends up with the knight as his champion. That sets up the romance between Guinevere and Lancelot, which is one of the core story ideas in Boorman’s movie.
I’m not surprised that a remake of Excalibur might eventually happen, and Ellis is a dirty and weird enough writer to make something really interesting out of the material. Boorman’s movie stands out as being one of the more odd, sexy and mystical fantasy movies to hit screens. (The great cast helps.) With Ellis on board I can see this standing alongside it. But I’m curious about using the gathering is the primary plot. If that’s really the case, what is the core dramatic thrust? Boorman’s movie used Arthur and the knights as an extended life-cycle metaphor. What’s this movie really going to be about?
Thanks to Gray for the heads up on this one.