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Peter T Chattaway

Camelot

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Links to threads on Lancelot du Lac (1974), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), King Arthur (2004), The Last Legion (2007), Merlin (2008-2009) and the in-development Caliber, Excalibur, Roundtable, Pendragon and Guy Ritchie's King Arthur movie.

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Starz greenlights 'Camelot' series

Chris Albrecht is building "Camelot" at Starz.

In its first series order since Albrecht took the reins as president and CEO, the pay cabler has greenlighted a contemporary retelling of the Arthurian legend from a producing team that encompasses four countries -- the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Canada -- and is led by Oscar-winning producer Graham King and "The Tudors" masterminds Morgan O'Sullivan and Michael Hirst.

The 10-episode "Camelot," slated to premiere in first-half 2011, marks the first project from King's recently launched GK-TV. It uses Thomas Malory's 15th century compilation, "Le Morte d'Arthur," often considered the definitive work on the legend of King Arthur, as a starting point for a take on the tale that looks to weave authenticity into a narrative relatable to contemporary audiences in the vein of Showtime's "The Tudors." . . .

Hollywood Reporter, March 21

Starz boards 10-part series 'Camelot'

LONDON -- U.S. cable net Starz has acquired the latest re-telling of the Arthurian myth, "Camelot," a 10-part co-production involving the U.K., Ireland and Canada.

Skein will be made by British shingle Ecosse Films, Dublin's Octagon Films and Toronto's Take Five Productions from a script written by Michael Hurst ("The Tudors") and Chris Chibnall ("Life on Mars" and "Torchwood"). . . .

"The legend of King Arthur is a fascinating story that we couldn't be more excited to have as our first television project."<P>Added Rae: "This will be a series of genuine ambition on the scale of 'Rome' and 'Band of Brothers.' " . . .

Variety, March 22

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Cultural Learnings on why Camelot will probably miss the Malory target.

What emerges may well be an entertaining television series, but I can’t help but feel that it will be missing the point: if you’re going to bring the Arthurian Legend to life in our modern television era, and if you’re going to claim Malory as a source, this is a fantastic opportunity to tackle the elements of the text which made it definitive and have largely been lost in subsequent reimaginings. Instead, their goal seems to be the same old attempt to make something old hip and relevant by ignoring what made it so interesting at the time and instead looking at what is popular or trendy within popular culture – I’d be glad to be proven wrong, but somehow I think that I’m still going to be waiting for the Malorian adaptation that is truly possible in this day and age.

In the essay that follows, he makes a convincing case that the missing or diminished element in most recent revisions of Malory is "honor."

I blogged it, and added a link to Kevin J. Harty's list of every known Arthurian film/TV adaptation pre-1998.

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Fiennes, Green, Bower and Egerton to Star in Camelot

Starz and GK-TV announced today that Joseph Fiennes ("FlashForward"), Eva Green (Casino Royale), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga: New Moon, upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and Tamsin Egerton (St. Trinian's, "The Mists of Avalon") have signed on to the upcoming series "Camelot."

The announcement says that "'Camelot' will take a fresh approach to telling the Arthur story, and casting Fiennes as the wizard Merlin and Eva Green, in her first television role, as the powerful sorceress Morgana will help set the tone for the series. The essential roles of Arthur and Guinevere will be played by Jamie Campbell Bower and Tamsin Egerton, respectively." . . .

ComingSoon.net, June 3

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Almost everyone in

appears to be pre-verbal.

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Almost everyone in

appears to be pre-verbal.

This story personally means a lot to me, particularly since I read and loved all the Howard Pyle books as a child, and then read and loved all the T.H. White books in college. I just remembered a good 5-6 years ago, that I played around with writing a cast in my old worn copy of The Once and Future King. Found it, and here's what I wrote down in college back in, must have been around '05 -

Arthur - Russell Crowe

Merlin - Michael Caine

Guinevere - Charlize Theron

Sir Lancelot - Joaquin Phoenix

Sir Gawaine - Christian Bale

Sir Bedevere - Mickey Rourke

Sir Kay - Val Kilmer

Sir Ector - J.K. Simmons

King Pellinore - Christopher Walken

King Mark - Ian McShane

Sir Mordred - Ben Foster

Queen Morgause - Rachel Weisz

Sir Agravaine - Tim Roth

Sir Gareth - James Franco

Morgana Le Fay - Kate Winslet

Lady in the Lake/Nimue - Jaime King

Sir Percivale - Sam Rockwell

Sir Lamorak - Colin Farrell

Sir Tristram - Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Lady Elaine - Claire Danes

Lady Isolde - Rose Byrne

Wow. Sometimes it's fun to make fun of yourself. But indulging in wishful thinking is also sometimes fun, as is reading a book with actors' faces and voices stuck in your head as particular characters. I don't remember quite how I came up with this, or even who all those characters are from the books anymore. But I do still distinctly remember Christopher Walken doing all of King Pellinore's lines inside my head as I was reading them. Also have absolutely no idea how I wrote down Mickey Rourke for Bedevere (he's the only one left standing at the end, right? list must have been post Sin City). A bunch of those choices are easy to make fun of as pretty cliched now. But I must say the one inspired choice on that list is Ben Foster as Mordred, that I would like to see.

Someone, someday could still give the Arthurian legend the same treatment that Peter Jackson gave Lord of the Rings. It will happen, just doesn't look like this Starz series will come anywhere close. I say they need to do it in 3-4 long theatrical films instead of a TV show.

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Funny, 3-4 films would give them exactly enough space to adapt Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle! ::w00t::

Oh, yeah, and Camelot? Not so much. I'll just stream Merlin (TV show, not miniseries). Sure, it's Smallville in armor, but it's fun, at least--something that I can't really say about this effort, based on the trailer.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rg4Tnnjot4&feature=player_embedded#!

I like how the trailer wraps up with an authentic chanson of the period.

Also: I totally didn't realize that Jamie Campbell Bower (Arthur) was the guy from Sweeney Todd. So now I'll be associating this show will be associated with two musicals.

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A friend told me he thought it was a mistake to cast Dakota Fanning in the starring role as King Arthur. Unfortunately, I agree.

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Joseph Fiennes: "I think people should watch this because...it's not a musical"

(Starz promo)

Ha!

I made it through the preview/premiere tonight. A lot of gratuitous, over-the-top bits, and the kid who plays Arthur seems even less likely to be the once and future king than Disney's Wart, but Fiennes is okay as Merlin. Kay is a good guy, as originally written. The impossibly handsome Philip Winchester (formerly "Robinson Crusoe") plays someone called "Leontes"? I have no idea what that's about, but he has billing, so should be around for a while. One scene was cribbed right out of Star Wars IV (you'll recognize it if you see it).

Note: I'm only able to watch this series live because Dishnetwork presented me with free Starz for a year. Fine!

Edited by BethR

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The Sexy Dark Ages

I hate it when parodies of modern culture are too close to the reality we're stuck with.

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