The story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight remains one of the most charming and well-regarded examples of the chivalric tradition in Arthurian legend. It is a story of bravery, magical bargains, and romance, and it’s persisted for about six hundred years as a classic fantasy… so it’s about time someone got weird with it. That might be the best way to describe David Lowery’s wicked new telling of the story in The Green Knight, a medieval fantasy that looks every inch the A24 indie.
The Green Knight is the latest movie from director David Lowery, a filmmaker of eclectic taste and style. His previous works include Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story, and The Old Man & the Gun.
The film shot in 2019 in Ireland’s Ardmore Studios. Weta Digital of Lord of the Rings fame is handling the special effects.
Starring Dev Patel as Sir Gawain and Alicia Vikander as the lady of his castle, this is clearly not your father (or Monty Python’s) King Arthur yarn. Here is what you need to know.
The Green Knight Trailer
Below is the first trailer for The Green Knight, which promises supernatural mischief quite unique from most modern fantasy movies post-Lord of the Rings.
The Green Knight Release Date
The Green Knight rides into theaters on May 29, 2020.
The Green Knight Cast
The Green Knight features a modern and talented cast that defies traditional expectations. In the lead role of Sir Gawain is Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion), a heroic knight who dares take the Green Knight’s challenge. And portraying that emerald fiend is Ralph Ineson, best known for playing a pious and proud father in A24 and Robert Eggers’ The Witch.
The film also stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, Tomb Raider) as a character listed as Lady Esel; Red Sparrow and The King’s Joel Edgerton appears as Lord; Kate Dickie (The Witch, Game of Thrones) is the Queen; and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) portrays King Arthur.
The Green Knight Story Details
Reimagining the famed “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” epic poem, David Lowery’s film posits Sir Gawain as King Arthur’s headstrong nephew who “embarks on a quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic green-skinned stranger.”
In classic lore, the chivalric romance this movie is based on was written in 14th century Middle English. In that story, Sir Gawain is simply a knight with a seat at King Arthur’s famed round table. On one fateful day, Gawain accepts a challenge from the Green Knight, who dares any other knight to strike him true with his axe so that the Green Knight can return the favor in a year and a day. Sir Gawain agrees and cleanly beheads the Green Knight. Yet afterward, the Green Knight’s body stands up, collects his severed head, and warns Sir Gawain he has a year and a day before he must return to the same spot and face the Green Knight’s response.
How much this will play into the film remains to be seen, but we imagine such a trippy concept would appeal to Lowery.