A24 will be releasing the visually stunning fantasy film The Green Knight from filmmaker David Lowery that is loosely based on the Arthurian poem Sir Gawain & The Green Knight. Dev Patel’s Sir Gawain is a member of King Arthur’s Knights of The Round Table, being part of the public domain allows the studio not to worry about rights issues and gives them creative freedom to tinker with the mythology.
THE GREEN KNIGHT – An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. From visionary filmmaker David Lowery comes a fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the knights of the round table.
The film releases in July 30 and has some extremely impressive visual effects shots from the wonderful Weta Digital, the high-profile effects house has some experience world-building with Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
I believe that A24 and David Lowery have an opportunity here to do something special with The Green Knight by slowly developing their own fantasy franchise with reasonably budgeted standalone R-rated films tackling various points of ancient myths. It’s also fiscally responsible to spend money on one movie at a time instead of pouring in a huge amount of money on a trilogy upfront. There are plenty of other characters worth exploring in solo films such as Merlin and Sir Lancelot among other stories linked to the Arthurian legends alone.
With the popularity of Game of Thrones, it was apparent that adult audiences are very much interested in fantasy genre material and hopefully The Green Knight can scratch that itch for the time being. I think the studio would be smart to at least consider having Lowery produce or direct some follow-ups of The Green Knight before branching off to other legends.
Once they’ve explored enough Arthurian tales they could move on to other myths such as Beowulf, Greek epic The Odyssey, the adventures of demigods like Perseus or Hercules, and Sigurd & The Dragon alongside the other tales in the massive world of Norse mythology. Unlike other studios perusing public domain material, they could assemble a great group of filmmakers to really bring life to these ancient stories by putting some real effort into developing them as real feature films, not sequel bait.
Lowery is currently busy shooting the Disney movie Peter Pan & Wendy in Vancouver.