(Reuters) - A new dawn, and possibly even a franchise, await the legend of British folklore hero King Arthur.
Warner Bros’ “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” out in U.S. theaters on Friday, revives the tales of the legendary warrior, his famed knights of the round table, and the magician Merlin.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, “Legend of the Sword” goes back to the origins of Arthur, played by Charlie Hunnam, as he is plucked from the poverty in which he grew up as an orphan, and becomes a reluctant leader of a resistance against his uncle, King Vortigern, played by Jude Law.
“Something that has been really, really important in my life, and it’s one of the central themes of the film, is a person’s unquestionable ability to elevate themselves in life through conscious endeavor,” Hunnam told Reuters.
Arthur is the only one able to wield the magical sword Excalibur from the stone in which it is trapped and, with the guidance of friends and some wizardry from Merlin, the hero finds himself on a quest to save England from the tyrannical rule of a ruthless king.
While the folklore of King Arthur dates back to the Middle Ages, the story of a civilian uprising is something that can apply to a modern-day audience, said Djimon Hounsou, who plays Arthur’s confidant Bedivere.
“It resonates loudly about what’s going on in America or, more importantly, about what’s going on in the world,” Hounsou said.
The legends of King Arthur have been adapted into numerous films over the years, from 1953’s “Knights of the Round Table” to 2015’s “Arthur and Merlin.” Ritchie believes it has staying power, saying he has already envisioned several more films for his iteration of the folklore hero.
Reporting by Alicia Powell for Reuters TV; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Paul Tait