Dozens of versions of the King Arthur legend have been brought to the big screen over the years, so what makes King Arthur: Legend of the Sword different? We first heard about the project in January 2014, when Warner Bros. indicated a desire to transform the legend into a film franchise spanning six installments.
Director Guy Ritchie came on board, fresh off the success of two movies that reinvented Sherlock Holmes for modern audiences thanks to a brawling Robert Downey Jr. Production got underway in March 2015 with Charlie Hunnam as Arthur and Jude Law as the primary villain; the cast also included Eric Bana, Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Djimon Hounsou. Knights of the Round Table, as it was known at the time, was slated for release on July 22, 2016.
By the end of 2015, the studio decided to delay the movie’s release until 2017 and by the end of 2016, the title and release date were finalized. A TV spot established Charlie Hunnam’s heroic character as a modern type of action figure.
Now a new trailer further expands the action aesthetic. Watch it below.
Yes, there are swords in the trailer, but mostly there’s a struggle between a reluctant hero with a tragic past and an evil ruler with a thirst for power. It’s also clear that Guy Ritchie directed; the trailer has the jagged look and thrilling feel of his Sherlock Holmes movies. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will open in theaters on May 12.