Even though the premiere of Camelot is fast approaching, there's been very little to see of Starz' latest original series. That changed yesterday as the trailer for the show hit the Internet, offering a glimpse at the look and feel of the newest version of King Arthur's legend.
Taking place immediately after the death of King Uther, Camelot will focus on the struggle between Uther's low-born son Arthur and Morgan Le Fey, who claims the throne as Arthur's half-sister. We see a very young Arthur taking hold of the ruins of Camelot castle, establishing his leadership and the Knights of the Round Table in the iconic keep. Familiar pillars of Arthurian legend Merlin, Guinevere and Sir Lancelot make appearances in the trailer.
The series is being produced by veterans of Showtime period show The Tudors. Executive producer Morgan O’Sullivan has previous experience with the source material in the 2004 film King Arthur, and writer Michael Hirst has experience with more historically sound English royalty in two separate Elizabeth movies. The cast skews very young, with Jamie Campbell Bower (of the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises) taking the role of Arthur. Eva Green, who made her mark as a Bond girl in Casino Royale, plays the evil Morgan Le Fey. British actress Tamsin Egerton takes the role of Guinevere while Shakespeare in Love's leading man Joseph Fiennes plays a middle-aged and beardless Merlin.
See for yourself here:
Camelot Sneak Preview
On a programming note, Starz is planning a preview of Camelot directly after the finale Spartacus: Gods of the Arena on February 25th. The series will premiere in its regular slot on April 1st. This may be a move to get people excited for the series before HBO starts its marketing blitz for Game of Thrones.
Here's a behind-the-scenes preview of the show with cast and crew commentary:
So how does the trailer look? While the acting appears solid and the sets and costumes are appropriately medieval, I can't shake the feeling that the producers are going for an edgy, teen-focused drama. The rock-and-roll soundtrack certainly didn't help. The direction isn't one that's entirely suited to Arthur's quest, nor is it one we haven't seen before: BBC and SyFy's Merlin already shows us teenaged versions of the once and future king and his cohorts.
While the Starz project certainly has higher production values and a more mature feel, I was hoping to see an older Arthur taking charge. But I'll reserve judgement - many a movie and TV show has been cast in the wrong light by a misleading trailer. All that said, Joseph Fiennes' non-traditional and menacing portrayal of Merlin shows promise.
Starz will show a sneak preview of Camelot on February 25th directly following Spartacus: Gods of the Arena at 10:56 PM. The series debuts on April 1st.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter