The legend of King Arthur has been sliced and diced every which way, from Disney animation (1963's The Sword in the Stone) to stylized live-action (1981's Excalibur) to Hollywood theatrics (1995's First Knight, starring Sean Connery). But director David Lowery's forthcoming The Green Knight is unlike any iteration you've seen before – and it's headed for the big screen this summer, promising a visually arresting feast for the senses.
Lion and Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel portrays Sir Gawain, one of the knights present at King Arthur's Round Table. When Gawain challenges and eventually beheads a mysterious monster (the 'green knight' of the title), it sets in motion an epic journey across a landscape both familiar and unfamiliar.
Lowery is an intriguingly versatile director who has hopped between outlaw drama (2013's Ain't Them Bodies Saints), rousing family-friendly fare (2016's remake of Disney's Pete's Dragon) and twinkly-eyed character studies (2018's The Old Man and the Gun, starring Robert Redford). But he's never turned his gaze on British mythology until now, and the trailer for The Green Knight promises an altogether more psychedelic twist on virtuous warriors and epic quests.
The film is a twist on the 14th-century legend 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'. Andrew Droz Palermo's cinematography looks to have a decidedly stylized air with an emphasis on over-saturated greens and oranges. And there looks to be a surreal dreaminess to the arc of the narrative, as a host of memorable character actors enter and leave the tapestry (Sean Harris plays King Arthur and Ralph Ineson the Green Knight, with additional appearances from Joel Edgerton, Alicia Vikander and Barry Keoghan).
The movie's marketing material promises 'hot summer knights' and it's hard to argue with the sight of the strapping, armour-clad Patel, here making a somewhat rare excursion into action and fantasy filmmaking. (His previous attempt, 2010's The Last Airbender, didn't work out so well.)
The cast is excellent, the aesthetic looks luscious, the director has a proven track record and the appeal of a good old Arthurian story remains undimmed. Check out the trailer for The Green Knight ahead of the film's UK theatrical release on 6th August 2021. Don't forget to check out our full list of Cineworld re-opening movies.