With nine locations and nearly 30 years of history, the theme restaurant chain Medieval Times offers its patrons an 11th-century feast and two-hour tournament show. Soon it will have it’s own movie franchise to along with all that.
Reports are in that the production companies Benderspink (The Hangover Part III) and Broken Road (Jack and Jill) have joined forces to turn the Medieval Times experience into a potential film series. The companies have secured the rights package and are shopping around the property to studios.
Medieval Times was famously featured in Ben Stiller’s The Cable Guy, where Jim Carrey’s lonely stalker title character took new “friend” Matthew Broderick for a memorably awkward dinner, culminating in a special jousting-and-swordfight match in the arena. (Carrey gave all the knights free cable). Zach Braff’s Garden State also featured a character (Jim Parsons) who worked at the restaurant as a knight and preferred to dress in character when off-duty.
Given the current trend of movie studios optioning not just tried and true comic book properties, but board games and action figures and trying to spin them into box office gold, this news is a little surprising, but feels somehow inevitable. With the popularity of all this medieval-era lore – due to films like The Hobbit and shows like Game of Thrones – selling the Medieval Times experience to a studio eager for a new franchise will likely not be terribly difficult.
There are as yet no details on just how a chain of sword-and-jousting-themed restaurants will be adapted into a motion picture series, however. Would they take the Martin Lawrence-starring Black Knight route and zap a character back in time? Or maybe they’ll take a cue from Saw and/or Gladiator, and force a patron to compete for both their life and a free meal? (Not likely, on second thought.) Or could we get something of a an old-school-meets-new-school blend like the 2001 film A Knight’s Tale (starring the late Heath Ledger), which had pop-rock dance numbers thrown in with its pauper-turned-knight adventure tale?
Stay tuned, as we’re sure to find out more about the Medieval Times movie as it enters development.