We already knew that Warner Bros. had picked up David Dobkin’s spec script Arthur & Lancelot, but now we know for how much and, more importantly, when we’ll be seeing the flick. Deadline reports that Warners paid $2 million to beat out Universal and Fox for the contemporary re-imaging of King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. The movie, budgeted at $90 million, will be fast tracked for a March 15, 2013 release date and the purchase has basically killed Bryan Singer’s remake of John Boorman’s Excalibur and Guy Ritchie’s non-remake but King Arthur movie also titled Excalibur.
Dobkin told Steve that he hopes to begin filming in January in London and that he has basically rebuilt the Arthurian legend from the ground-up. Hit the jump for Dobkin’s explanation of what he’s going for with Arthur & Lancelot. There are currently no other films set to open on March 15, 2013.
Here’s what Dobkin (whose previous credits include the raunchy comedies Wedding Crashers and the upcoming The Change-Up) said he’s done with the Arthurian legend for Arthur & Lancelot:
“I pulled the legend apart. I only kept a few things. I kept certain characters, I recreated the entire launch of the legend and why it starts the way that it starts, I don’t want to give away too much but it’s always had a flaw. I pulled the flaws out, I reinvented the characters as grounded characters. I took a much more realistic and grounded approach towards everybody, you know why would this character be this way and why would this character be that way? You know Arthur’s superpower is compassion and vision. I will tell you this, the whole thing is wrapped around the birth of democracy as a concept and it’s positing Arthur as the first man to say all men are created equal.”
Hopefully Dobkin has found a way to crack the Arthurian legend because many have tried and only Monty Python and the Holy Grail has succeeded in making a good movie. We heard this same song and dance back in 2004 with Antoine Fuqua’s King Arthur. It was going to be “gritty” and “realistic” and “grounded” and I want none of those things from the stuff of legend. Legends are supposed to be larger than life and spark our imaginations. How is taking a “realistic” approach better?