King Arthur has cast a Pirates of the Caribbean actress in the iconic role of Arthur’s Queen consort, Guinevere. No, you haven’t traveled back in time to a decade or so ago – when director Antoine Fuqua cast Keira Knightley, following her turn in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, to play Lady Guinevere in his King Arthur movie. The project we are talking about today is Warner Bros.’ upcoming cinematic retelling of the Arthurian legend, with Guy Ritchie (the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies) serving at the helm.
Variety is reporting that Astrid Bergès-Frisbey has entered talks to play Guinevere in Ritchie’s medieval adventure epic, after the role was circled by such folk as Elizabeth Olsen (as we previously reported), Felicity Jones – who’s collected early acclaim for her role in the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything – and Alicia Vikander, fresh off playing her role in Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie adaptation (which hit theaters in Summer 2015). That is to say, Bergès-Frisbey ended up securing the role over some impressive acting talent, which bodes well for her performance here.
Bergès-Frisbey recently appeared in the indie film I Origins and played the mermaid Syrena in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (see the Pirates joke made earlier), but she’s far from being a well-established name. However, King Arthur doesn’t need her to be, given the (pretty much) universally-known subject matter and that bigger name stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba (who costarred in Pacific Rim together) have already joined the film’s cast.
Ritchie was able to bring something new to the table with his Sherlock Holmes movies, while also remaining true to the spirit of that frequently-visited well. With no Sherlock Holmes 3 in sight (much less a sequel to an indie Ritchie flick, such as RocknRolla 2), it’s up to Man from U.N.C.L.E. and King Arthur to bring filmgoers their next helping of entertainment filtered through Ritchie’s unique directorial voice. Plus, if Ritchie’s Arthur movie introduces an exciting new vision of the Arthur universe, then we could get to revisit that world some five additional times down the line.
One last thing to note – certain outlets (such as Deadline) are referring to Ritchie’s movie as being titled Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, rather than just King Arthur. It’s not clear yet if this is another Exodus situation – where Ridley Scott’s film was renamed Exodus: Gods and Kings simply as a result of title rights issues – or if Knights of the Roundtable will be the name of the franchise that Ritchie’s film is meant to kickoff. We’ll find out soon enough.
King Arthur (or Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, whichever it ends up being called) opens in U.S. theaters on July 22nd, 2016.