Charlie Hunnam reveals why his King Arthur is rough around the edges

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

All hail Charlie Hunnam! Sons of Anarchy star transforms into ‘rough’ and brooding King Arthur in first look at Guy Ritchie’s Knights of the Roundtable.

Excalibur, the sword of swords, has always been a character as important to the Arthurian legend as Merlin and Lancelot, so it’s no wonder that the weapon has a prime spot on Entertainment Weekly’s latest cover alongside Charlie Hunnam.

The Sons Of Anarchy star plays King Arthur in Guy Ritchie’s new movie Knights Of The Roundtable: King Arthur, but told Entertainment Weekly he was worried that the role of the legendary leader would be bland. “The two qualities make rather compatible bed companions. Earlier this month, we traveled to the London set of King Arthur to get the early scoop on the updated legend and the sword that will play a large role in the adventure.

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly cover story the 46-year-old explains that in order to make his King Arthur an unforgettable action hero, he needed to make a few changes. ‘I think where the pitfall has often been is trying to make King Arthur bland and nice, and nice and bland,’ Ritchie said, of previous film attempts, such as the poorly-reviewed 2004 King Arthur. On paper, Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 kaiju love letter Pacific Rim took in over $400 million at the global box office, with $100 million of that coming from the US alone.

The decorative gem on the sword’s pommel is a favorite of Hunnam’s. “It took me back to my childhood,” he says. “I would spend my time whittling a big log into a sword. Those sums were enough to justify a sequel for Warner Bros. and Legendary, but the narrative around the release of the movie still had the ring of minor disappointment. I was always taking glue and putting marbles on top.” The sword’s handle area was the most difficult aspect to design, according to Tim Wildgoose, one of the film’s armorers, because director Ritchie wanted to avoid the bejeweled look of previous iterations.

He’s a hustler.’ The publication described the character as: ‘orphaned as an infant and raised by three prostitutes in the 5th century version of London, more of a street-wise hood, who looks after the people living in his tiny corner of the world.’ Another notable change to this update will be Guy’s decision to edge away from darker, more stripped-down reboots such as Batman Begins in favor of a large fantasy element. King Arthur enthusiasts won’t be able to read the letters embedded in the blade, but they know the message. “Take me up, cast me away” is the inscription often found on Excalibur, but King Arthur uses a written language created specifically for the film.

When it becomes more important than storytelling, I get very nervous, and you sort of lose me a little bit,” Hunnam said. “Although we tried very hard on Pacific Rim to marry those two elements, I do feel like ultimately it got weighed heavier on the side of spectacle than storytelling.” With Pacific Rim 2 scheduled to shoot this fall, that balance is something that Hunnam is excited to take another crack at. “I hope that we are able to remedy that a little bit going into the second,” he said. “Not to say I wasn’t proud of the film. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey – where he was replaced by Jamie Dornan. ‘It was very, very painful for me, that whole process, just very unpleasant,’ he said, adding: ‘I felt like I let myself down. It’s very hard to be disciplined in that situation and understand what is going to be required to all of that work to the best of your ability and have yourself surrounded by people,’ he said.

That’s what I started to do.’ ‘I do try not to dwell on the past too much because I have a tendency to do that, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten very good at distancing myself from shoulda, woulda, coulda.’ Instead of going with the Batman Begins-esque, stripped down reboot, King Arthur sprints full blast in the opposite direction with giant snakes, massive war elephants, and a monstrous viking-like creature known as The Nemesis. “Hopefully, loyalists won’t be too offended by what we’ve done,” says producer Lionel Wigram. Given that Ritchie’s deal is with Warner Bros., the architects behind Zack Snyder’s wildly ambitious Justice League franchise, you can probably bet we’ll see more from Hunnam and his gang, er, band of knights. Speaking of Game of Thrones, Disney just announced that a major writer/producer on the HBO series, Bryan Cogman, will be writing a new live-action version of their popular young Arthur cartoon The Sword in the Stone.

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