After cornering the market in wise-cracking gangster movies, Guy Ritchie is now firmly in the big budget franchise business.
According to Deadline, next on the director’s hit list is a six-film tentpole centred upon the legend of King Arthur.
With studios terrified of producing something original, it makes sense to resurrect the story of King Arthur, considering HBO’s Game of Thrones is the hottest thing on television.
The script for the first movie, written by Joby Harold, is ready to go. Ritchie and producing partner Lionel Wigram are reportedly working alongside companies Weed Road and Safehouse Pictures.
Of course, there have been many attempts to produce a successful King Arthur franchise; some more successful than others.
The most famous live-action film is probably John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981) which has been rumored for the remake treatment, with Bryan Singer helming.
Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney produced a forgettable adaptation in 2004 featuring a grunting Ray Winstone and an unconvincing Keira Knightley as a warrior version of Guinevere. That one tried to capture the box office magic of Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean, but bombed badly.
Ritchie and partner Wigram had previously been attached to a John Hodge scripted version of the story which was eventually shelved, because of the Colin Farrell lead Arthur & Lancelot, which WB eventually decided was too expensive.
But considering Ritchie’s success with the Sherlock Holmes franchise – which has grossed over $1 billion – there is no reason why he can’t create the same kind of adventure comedy around this well loved medieval legend.
The director’s next film, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., is being produced by Warner Bros. and stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in the central roles. It does not have an official release date, other than rumors of sometime in 2014.
Stay tuned for more King Arthur developments.