Arthur & Lancelot, the revisionist King Arthur screenplay by writer/director David Dobkin, may be revived at Warner Brothers just two months after the studio killed the project over budgetary concerns. The key player in this resurrection appears to be Colin Farrell, who is in talks to take part in the project. Variety is reporting that it is unclear which role that Farrell is interested in though Deadline is citing anonymous sources that he is after the part of Lancelot.
Warners bought the script last summer for a reported $2 million. Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington was attached to play Arthur while The Killing‘s Joel Kinnaman landed the role of Lancelot. When the film’s initial budget estimates of $90 million began to creep north of $120 million, the studio put the brakes on the project, unsure that Harington and Kinnaman were big enough box office draws to justify the price tag.
Dobkin was free to shop the project around to other studios, but it looks as if instead he sought out someone with bigger star power in order to get Warners to take a second look. It is likely that Gary Oldman will be approached for the role of Merlin, even though he had turned it down previously.
The film will tell the story of the early days of the friendship between the future King and his most loyal knight but will leave the tragic end of their friendship for possible sequels. The woman who figures prominently in that tragedy, Guinevere, has a brief appearance in this script as set up for the later installments.
Warners has been rather interested in getting some form of the legend of King Arthur on to the screen over the past several years. They have also had a remake of John Boorman’s 1981 classic Excalibur in development with Bryan Singer as well as a version being written by Trainspotting scripter John Hodge for director Guy Ritchie.
Farrell will be seen later this year in the remake of Total Recall and the upcoming Seven Psychopaths (pictured above), which reteams hims with his In Bruges director Martin McDonagh.