[UPDATE: Farrell has passed on Arthur & Lancelot.]
Production was seemingly set to begin earlier this year on filmmaker David Dobkin's Arthur & Lancelot, with rising TV actors Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) and Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) playing the titular Medieval duo.
However, that project was postponed for reasons that Warner Bros. has yet to make official - most likely, the usual suspects (script issues, budget concerns, star power, etc.) - and removed from the studio's upcoming release slate, with Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Killer being pushed back to Spring 2013 to take its would-be place.
Kinnaman thereafter signed on to headline the RoboCop reboot, while Harington moved on to join the cast of The Seventh Son - so, even though Arthur & Lancelot is ready to move forward once more, the flick is now in need of two new leading men (among other things). According to Variety, one of the lead roles looks to be filled by a more established actor in the form of Colin Farrell, who has entered talks to co-headline Dobkin's film.
Now, Farrell may not be the most bankable of names (as last year's Fright Night remake demonstrated) but the Irish thespian has continued to solidify his reputation as a talented character actor in recent years - with admired turns in films ranging from indie fare like Crazy Heart and The Way Back to such mainstream titles as Horrible Bosses and Fright Night. Not to mention, Farrell looks to have another good year in 2012, between his parts in Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths and Len Wiseman's Total Recall remake.
That's all to say: Farrell's not only a bigger name than both Kinnaman and Harington right now, but he looks to improve his standing as a Hollywood star and as a respected actor in the upcoming months. So, by the time Arthur & Lancelot is actually released, having him onboard could prove to be a wise decision on the filmmakers' part.
UPDATE: Farrell has passed on the project, reportedly due to a scheduling conflict related to the amount of prep and training work required for his would-be part of Lancelot in the film. However, Deadline's sources are claiming that Warner Bros. "is eager to make the movie and [a] cast will materialize quickly."
Dobkins is better known as a comedy director (Fred Claus, Wedding Crashers), though he previously worked in the action-comedy genre when he helmed Shanghai Knights - not to mention, Dobkins devised the fantasy-adventure screen story for Jack the Giant Killer. Bear all that in mind when you read the following quote from Dobkins, concerning his approach to restyling the Arthurian legend with his Arthur & Lancelot screenplay (via Collider):
“... 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.”
Given the number of "grounded" revisionist takes we've seen on the Arthur legend over the years - including more recents ones like Antoine Fuqua's 2004 King Arthur movie and Starz' single-season Camelot TV series - Dobkins will be hard-pressed to offer a truly innovative "realistic" spin on the story. Based on his previous work, it's kind of hard to recommend Dobkins for that job - though, of course, he could surprise us...
We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Arthur & Lancelot are the story develops.
Source: Variety [via Collider]
Update Source: Deadline