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Guy Ritchie isn’t new to the cinematic reboot game. Having already updated Sherlock Holmes into a Robert Downey Jr. franchise, taking a crack at pulling Excalibur from the stone with King Arthur may seem like a logical fit. But according to the director, the jobs are only similar in that they’re just like any other movie. “You just sort of commit with a couple hundred million of someone else’s money and hope you find your way,” Ritchie says. (So easy, right?)
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For King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, out May 12, finding his way meant balancing giant attack elephants and Arthur’s well-worn Round Table legend. “It was challenging to begin with because there was an uncertainty about the tone,” says Charlie Hunnam, whose hero battles Jude Law’s warlord. “Guy’s [initial] intention was to make something that was outside of his wheelhouse, and make a more classic, straightforward, and somewhat somber film — which is obviously not what we ended up with.”
What they ended up with is full-blast swords and sorcery told with a Cockney accent. Or as Hunnam puts it, “Arthur and his pals, the tone of those interactions is very much the way Guy is. We were just doing our best Guy Ritchie impersonations.”