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Will There Ever Be a Good King Arthur/Robin Hood Movie?

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So, there's been a trailer for another King Arthur movie: Arthur and Merlin: Knights of Camelot, and I couldn't help but groan; knowing how bad it was going to be. Then I felt Deja Vu; thinking back on it, I can't remember a single movie adaptation of King Arthur or Robin Hood that was "good". I mean, there have been a few movies I would consider "okay"; Prince of Thieves, the 2010 Robin Hood, and Excalibur. But I wouldn't call them good,  and the vast, vast majority of these King Arthur and Robin Hood films are just so bad. 

 

For some context, I love Arthurian Legend and I've done a lot of research on the legends themselves as well as the historical basis and the time period in which he supposedly existed. I also enjoy Robin Hood, though I've done far less research. I would love to see a good adaptation; I'd love to see the legends come to life on the screen. 

But, ever since the 2000s, none of these films have been about bringing the legends to life; there all obsessed with "reimagining" the story with gimmicks. That would be fine if it was for the storytelling, but almost every single time, "reimagining" has just been an excuse for not bothering; take the Guy Ritchie King Arthur film: the one with dryads, war elephants, and basically nothing Arthurian while also portraying Arthur as a born-on-the-streets angsty anti-hero. That's not Arthurian at all. And don't take this as me saying it has to be 100% accurate to the legends; the legends themselves are somewhat nebulous due to having things constantly added to them throughout the Medieval Period in different parts of Europe. I enjoyed the show Merlin because, while it didn't at all stick to the legends and told its own story, it had also clearly done its research, and it still told a decent story. 

Some of them will claim that they're reimagining the story because they want to tell the story of the historical basis for the character, not necessarily the legends. Both the 2004 King Arthur film and the 2010 Robin Hood film did this. But then these films that do this don't bother to get the history correct. The 2004 King Arthur film is less historically accurate than Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It doesn't help that the 2004 King Arthur movie also just fails as a film. 

Besides, what's wrong with just showing the legends? In my experience, most people know almost nothing about King Arthur or Robin Hood. Telling them the legends is telling them a new story, so there's little point in reimagining them.

 

What do you guys think of these films? Am I expecting too much? Is there a good movie that I've somehow missed or forgotten about? Do you think there will ever be a good King Arthur or Robin Hood movie in the future? 

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A movie doesn't necessarily have to be serious to get the point across (Robin Hood: Men in Tights).

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So, I thought the mid-2000s Arthur movie was alright when I watched it, though I wouldn't act like it's a classic either. Monty Python and the Holy Grail As for Disney's Robin Hood, Accuracy ain't its strong suit. Or its animation. The 2000s BBC series also went off the rails before long too and ended with a scene involving Greek Fire for some reason.

My exposure to films of both are limited, is what I'm saying.

I doubt it's worth assuming we'll be getting anything near it for the next few years, with the assumption a movie on them won't sell when it's really because the movie made was just, I dunno, a bad movie that didn't do anything actually interesting to the audience, regardless of faithfulness.

But it suggests to me that plenty of those looking at these stories and wanting to write with them are like "I think this change would be cool". This is a recurring issue with adaptations of any work (for current cases, look at how Artemis Fowl got destroyed), but the distance from when these are set kind of leaves them more open to doing so I would argue. I can't say I've seen one that particularly tries to hew closely to it, even one that is relatively there like Excaliber takes a bunch of changes. Maybe there's an obsession with making this version of the work your own, which combined with a wider ausience not being as exposed to the details in these stories may make it easier for them to be resolved to not be slavishly devoted to a complete retelling.

Maybe some of us would like to see that "slavish retelling" first though. 😛

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Recently? None that I can think of. Though I have heard that The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Ivanhoe (1952) are good Robin Hood movies, and I'd like to get around to watching them someday. I wouldn't be surprised if King Arthur is in a similar situation, where the older films tend to be the better examples of the legend.

I believe both groups have a better showing in videogames nowadays (well, in the past 30 years at least), even if they obviously range in quality and genre. Similar to films, it really depends on where you look.

I do agree that there is still appeal in seeing an accurate telling of these legends. I remember reading "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" a year or two ago and greatly enjoying the story, I've read the original tale of Robin Hood before though it has been a few years and I don't remember a ton of details, and "The Necessity of Chivalry" is one of my favorite essays by C.S. Lewis, so you can count me in as someone interested in seeing classic tales of heroism again. And as the you said, few people know about these stories in-depth, so the original tales can still garner some interest even without having to shake anything up.

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I'm sure if I had the budget and crew, I could do it. The key is to retain to the spirit of the legends and inspire hope in the masses in these trying times, or otherwise. You must take the audience's hearts and never let go, and hire the sexiest British actors in the business! 😍 Heh, sorry, female bias.

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