Disney’s going to take a crack at Arthurian legend with their live-action version of The Sword in the Stone. The studio’s 1963 Oscar-nominated animated feature was the last to be released before Walt Disney‘s death, and now it’s but the latest in a long line of reboots, reimaginings, and reworkings of their existing titles. That film was a very lighthearted take on T.H. White‘s novel of the same name, itself a part of “The Once and Future King” collection. But as Disney’s reported choice for a director suggests, the live-action version might just feature a darker vision altogether.
THR reports that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is in negotiations with the studio to direct the picture; Bryan Cogman (Game of Thrones) wrote the script and Brigham Taylor (The Jungle Book) is producing with Louis Provost overseeing. There are no details available on the movie’s plot or tone just yet, but you don’t bring in the director of horror/thrillers like 28 Weeks Later and Intruders for a whimsical, musical take.
What’s of equal interest here is the fact that Disney’s now working two varying King Arthur projects. There’s this one, and then there’s The Merlin Saga that has Ridley Scott circling. One wonders if the two projects might eventually intersect with The Merlin Saga telling the tale of a younger Merlin’s adventures while The Sword in the Stone sees the wizened wizard guiding a young Arthur and mentoring the boy as he sets out on the path to becoming king after pulling the titular sword from the titular stone.
Elsewhere, recent efforts to spark interest in the King Arthur lore have been pretty ineffectual, due in part to their rather wild adaptations; look to Transformers: The Last Knight and Guy Ritchie‘s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. But an Arthurian mythology franchise with Disney as a backer may actually be a winning combination. Granted, the inspiration comes from two different book sources, but seeing as both draw from Sir Thomas Malory‘s 15th century tales, I think Disney could probably blur the edges between the two, if they’re so inclined.