Hands down one of my favourite directors of all time, Guy Ritchie might well be looking to set up a new franchise with Warner Bros., with the now-frequent collaborators reportedly looking to launch a King Arthur adaptation.
Deadline reports that, after numerous attempts from Warner Bros.’ part to get the film off the ground, Ritchie is now looking to make the movie, which is a very ambitious project for the studio with the potential to launch a long-lasting new franchise.
The movie is set to be a tentpole fantasy retelling of King Arthur, intended to span an impressive six films.
The first script has been written by Joby Harold, writer/director of the crime-thriller, Awake, and more recently executive producer on this year’s Tom Cruise- and Emily Blunt-led blockbuster, Edge of Tomorrow.
Ritchie and producing partner Lionel Wigram had previously been developing a version based on the Arthurian legend with a script from Trainspotting’s John Hodge, but the project ultimately lost steam when it looked like Warner Bros. would be making a King Arthur film with director David Dobkin.
The studio came closest to making the movie with Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot, with Colin Farrell most recently in talks to revive the film as Lancelot, with Warner Bros. seeking Gary Oldman for the role of Merlin. The studio had acquired Dobkin’s script for $2m., but pulled the plug because its estimated $130m. budget was $20m. too high, and attached stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) and Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop) were seen as unproven talents on screen.
But now it looks like all that could soon be changing, with Ritchie eyeing what could well be the start of one of the biggest new franchises in the coming years.
Ritchie is coming off the back of helming The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros., which is led by Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, and Hugh Grant.
There’s also been talk of making Sherlock Holmes 3 since A Game of Shadows came out in 2011, and I remain ever hopeful for the long-awaited RocknRolla sequel/s.
It sounds like Ritchie might just be talking to the studio at the moment about making it happen, but intending to launch a six-film tentpole franchise with Ritchie helming at least the first is definitely going to have the studio interested. More as we get it.