Arthurian legend lends itself to so many variations, is it any wonder why Disney has two separate King Arthur adjacent movies in production? Clearly they’re already banking too that Charlie Hunnam’s grip on Excalibur will be but a hazy memory. Thus enter The Sword in the Stone, yet another live-action remake of a classic animated Disney movie, this one hailing from 1963, which now has a director.
As relayed via The Hollywood Reporter, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo of 28 Weeks Later fame has been tapped to direct a live-action retelling of 1963’s The Sword in the Stone, which will be drawing on a script from Bryan Cogman, one of the key writers and executive producers on HBO’s mammoth Game of Thrones.
The original Sword in the Stone movie is the fairly lighthearted and easygoing reimagining of Merlin’s tutelage of a young Arthur as something akin to a madcap adventure. It pulled very loosely from one part of T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, and was also the last animated movie released in Walt Disney’s lifetime—albeit he saw most of the production through on 1966’s The Jungle Book.
Like The Jungle Book remake, this is being produced by Bringham Taylor, and could possibly depart in similar fashion from its relatively muddled 1960s source material. After all, a director best known for films like 28 Weeks Later and The Intruders working alongside a Game of Thrones writer is certain to conjure images a little more brutal than the original movie.
Then again, Fresnadillo being more of a studio director with extensive television experience is an interesting contrast to Disney’s other dueling King Arthur movie. For Disney is also developing The Merlin Saga into a potential franchise with Ridley Scott circling to produce and possibly direct the film, which would be working from a screenplay by Philippa Boyens (The Lord of the Rings).
Will Disney make both? We suppose you’d have to be a wizard to know for sure…