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Look out for more coverage of
King Arthur in our magazines

THE MOVIE: King Arthur

THE STARS:
Clive Owen • Keira Knightley • Ioan Gruffudd
DIRECTOR: Antoine Fuqua

Clive Owen as Arthur THE CONCEPT:
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s blockbuster looks at the origins of the myth behind one of the greatest legends ever told – of King Arthur (Owen), Guinevere (Knightley) and Lancelot (Gruffudd).

U.S. RELEASE: July 7 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

IOAN GRUFFUDD:
“I was so surprised at the whole interpretation of the legend to be honest with you. When I read the script, it was baffling to me. But having spoken with John Matthews [the historian on the film], he’s coming round to this idea that this did happen.”

CLIVE OWEN:
“Because it’s a radical take on the whole story, I didn’t feel any weight of responsibility in a way; it might have been daunting if the parallels could be easily made to past versions of Arthur, but it wasn’t. At the end of the day you don’t play heroic, you can’t act that. You play the part and you hope that the writing and the way it’s directed supports you.”

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY:
“I read this script and said, “This is actually interesting.’ I think to take a story that everybody thinks they know so well and is such a famous romantic fantasy, and find a very gritty reality behind it is a really interesting process.”

OWEN:
“I see Arthur as a guy who has very strong beliefs and they’re challenged and he has to change. That’s the arc of the journey. The world is changing, and he has enormous faith and that faith is being challenged.”

IOAN on the fact that a couple of scenes between him and Keira had been cut:
“When we saw the movie we both looked at each other and said, ‘Where did our scenes go?’ We were both a little bit upset, but now that we’ve looked at it in retrospect, people have responded to the subtleness of it and the fact that it’s just behind the eyes and the looks.”

KNIGHTLEY:
“When I was doing Pirates of the Caribbean I was always watching the boys training for the fight scenes, and I always thought, ‘Aw, that looks so much fun.’ I was desperate for a sword. And in this I got swords and axes, so I more than made up for it.”

OWEN:
“I didn’t know how to ride a horse, that was a very big deal and I was totally in denial, because I read the script and 70% of it was on horseback. Nobody asked me if I could ride, so I didn’t bring it up. And then, when we were going through the negotiations, I had this little headache hammering me, ‘What do you think you’re doing? You can’t ride a horse.’ The day the deal was done I rang Jerry Bruckheimer’s office and said, ‘I’ve got to get on a horse tomorrow.’”

GRUFFUDD:
“I suppose the original image of Lancelot is this gallant, noble knight-in-shining-armor, Arthur’s best friend who has an affair with Guinevere, but I like this Lancelot, I think he’s darker and more brooding, more earthy and more realistic.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official King Arthur site
Images above © Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #646, July 2004 cover

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Film Review, Epics Special 2004 cover

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