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Excalibur (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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Bryan Singer gives update on his remake of Excalibur

8 December 2010 3:47 PM, PST | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

The story of King Arthur can definitely be described as enduring. Rooted in the Dark Ages, it was shifted into the Middle Ages (with all the associated knights in armour, chivalry and damsels) by Sir Thomas Malory's classic 15th century work Le Morte d'Arthur.

With all the myth and mystery surrounding this semi-historical tale, not to mention its ingredients of love, power and betrayal, it provides rich material for literature, TV and film.

A third series of the BBC's Smallville-styled reimagining Merlin has just finished (with a fourth promised), while a 10-part miniseries called Camelot - starring Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, Eva Green as Morgana, Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur and Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere - is in production in Ireland and will air on cable channel Starz in the USA.

In addition, The Hollywood Reporter revealed in October that Working Title is developing a Merlin movie from a »

- David Bentley

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Jay Basu Casts Merlin into “Contemporary Setting”

10 November 2010 10:43 PM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Merlin is in the upper echelon of fictional wizards* along with Gandalf, Harry Potter, and the The Great and Powerful Oz.  Having first appeared in Arthurian legend in 1136, Merlin predates them all, but arguably lacks the definitive on-screen portrayal of the latter three.

Author/screenwriter Jay Basu’s take on Merlin may not change that, but it ought to be fresh.  Working Title has picked up a Basu film pitch that brings Merlin into “a contemporary setting.”

Merlin.  Present day.  That’s about all we know so far, but the character has a rich history; hit the jump for background information on Merin.

Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures. Geoffrey combined »

- Brendan Bettinger

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Merlin Coming To The Big Screen

10 November 2010 7:01 PM, PST | GeekTyrant | See recent GeekTyrant news »


A modern day Merlin is currently in the works from Working Title, based on a pitch from screenwriter Jay Basu.  His current project is writing the adaptation of British crime novel Bad Traffic for producer Nick Wechsler

As of right now, no amount of magic can gain information about this new project that is shrouded in secrecy.  There have been a number of times that Merlin has ventured on-screen.  

The character of Merlin stems from the legend of King Arthur.  Without Merlin there would not be characters such as Albus Dumbledore, Gandalf or even Obi-Wan Kenobi.  

Merlin typically appears in settings based in the mystical times of old England.  When he has appeared in modern day settings, the outcomes have been very lackluster.  The character of Merlin made a very brief appearance as the title character played by Bernard Hughes in Mr Merlin as an auto mechanic in 1981 San Francisco. »

- Tiberius

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Updated: Excalibur to Knight Blu-ray

10 November 2010 1:42 PM, PST | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

Update: A sneak peek at the cover art is below. Still no pre-order link at Amazon.com.

Warner Home Video has announced plans to bring John Boorman's 1981 film Excalibur to Blu-ray Disc on March 8 to time with Easter.

Excalibur is based on Sir Thomas Mallory's 'Le Morte D'Arthur,' one of the first books ever printed. It concerns King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and stars Nigel Terry and Helen Mirren with appearances by notables including Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson.

Excalibur on Blu-ray will be presented in 1080p video and 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio. Supplements include a full-length audio commentary by director John Boorman and the theatrical trailer.

Warner has set an Srp of $19.99 for Excalibur on Blu-ray which should put Amazon.com pricing in the $15 range. I'll share that pre-order link and cover art when each is available.


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Excalibur to Knight Blu-ray

9 November 2010 7:04 AM, PST | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

Warner Home Video has announced plans to bring John Boorman's 1981 film Excalibur to Blu-ray Disc on March 8 to time with Easter.

Excalibur is based on Sir Thomas Mallory's 'Le Morte D'Arthur,' one of the first books ever printed. It concerns King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and stars Nigel Terry and Helen Mirren with appearances by notables including Patrick Stewart, Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson.

Excalibur on Blu-ray will be presented in 1080p video and 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio. Supplements include a full-length audio commentary by director John Boorman and the theatrical trailer.

Warner has set an Srp of $19.99 for Excalibur on Blu-ray which should put Amazon.com pricing in the $15 range. I'll share that pre-order link and cover art when each is available. »

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Bryan Singer talks X-Men: First Class, addresses rumours of Wolverine cameo

2 November 2010 10:16 AM, PDT | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

Bryan Singer was the man who brought the X-Men to the big screen - and revived the superhero movie genre - back in 2000.

He went on to make X2, which has earned a leading place in the genre as well as among the X-Men films, and is now back with the franchise as a producer on the prequel X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

At a recent film screening, Bryan Singer spoke about First Class and his work on the X-Men as a whole.

Among other topics, internet rumours about Hugh Jackman having a Wolverine cameo in the film were addressed. Jackman was reported to be in the vicinity of Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA, where part of First Class will be shot.

Singer also gave his thoughts on the new Superman film and on his planned remake of John Boorman's Arthurian classic Excalibur. In this first part, we'll »

- David Bentley

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Deliverance: No 5

19 October 2010 3:50 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

John Boorman, 1972

Warner Brothers originally fancied Roman Polanski for director. The novel's famously macho author, James Dickey, wanted Sam Peckinpah. And originally under consideration for the leads (later taken by Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight) were Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando. But Deliverance as it was finally made is so indelible, even after 38 years, and its impact has been so lasting, that even those mouthwatering possibilities are obliterated by what John Boorman finally wrought.

Depending on your viewpoint, Deliverance is the first eco-thriller (Dickey's novel was published in 1970, the year of the first Earth Day celebration, and remained a bestseller throughout the 70s), or a meditation on American machismo in its suburban, postwar variant. The thoughtful, sedentary adman Ed (Voight) must find it in himself to embrace the hunter-warrior ethic of his tougher friend Lewis (Reynolds) when the latter is crippled by his injuries, and Ed both loves and hates »

- John Patterson

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David Thomson on Helen Mirren

14 October 2010 3:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Helen Mirren is so hardworking that it is tempting to take her for granted. But she is always looking for something different

Have you seen the wild look in Helen Mirren's eyes? It's as if she knows the world has gone mad, so she can do anything. The pained realism and long-suffering compromises that dogged Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect are put aside. She has been Queen Elizabeth, both I and II, and if anyone cared to propose an Elizabeth of Transylvania from the Dark Ages then Mirren could do it. Or if you prefer a bloodthirsty and lascivious pope, she is your actor. At 65, she is still one of the sexiest women on screen. It's not what she does, but what she knows.

Mirren has never been anything less than accomplished and bold, but Stephen Frears' The Queen was a confirming potion for her, a laying on of hands. »

- David Thomson

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Ciaran Hinds to play the Devil in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

1 October 2010 4:37 PM, PDT | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

Ciaran Hinds is in negotiations to appear in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, along with Italian actress-singer Violante Placido.

Hinds' credits include Excalibur, Road to Perdition, Munich, There Will Be Blood and upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and John Carter of Mars. He played Julius Caesar in the TV series Rome. Placido (right) will next be seen in crime drama The American, due out in the UK on November 26.

HeatVision reports that the story sees Ghost Rider alter-ego Johnny Blaze hiding in remote Eastern Europe and struggling to repress his curse, as script reviews have indicated. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the Devil (Hinds), who wants to take over his mortal son's body on the boy's birthday. Placido will play the boy's mother.

Crash duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are directing; they also wrote the script from a story by Batman scribe David Goyer. »

- David Bentley

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TV review: The Great British Bake-Off, The Making of King Arthur and Ideal

18 August 2010 3:43 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Once you've seen one person cream butter and sugar together, haven't you seen them all?

I was born without the competitive spirit. I play the most satisfying words in Scrabble, not the highest-scoring or the most strategically advantageous and will take myself out with the lead piping if I am ever forced to play Cluedo again. So perhaps my perspective is skewed, but I must ask – isn't competitive baking a contradiction in terms? It sounds as antithetical as competitive reading or competitive bath-soaking. Even Sue Perkins, back with her Late/Light Lunch pal Mel Giedroyc to present The Great British Bake-Off (BBC2) remarks upon it ("isn't it a peaceful thing, for communing with yourself?"). But clearly in others the urge to be tested against others is one too powerful to resist.

The other odd thing about The Great British Bake-Off, in which 10 home bakers were herded into a marquee to handmix their way to glory, »

- Lucy Mangan

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20th Century Fox at The London Film Museum: Costumes Galore

16 August 2010 4:22 PM, PDT | Clothes on Film | See recent Clothes on Film news »

Since 19th July, The London Film Museum has been running an exhibition of props and costumes from 20th Century Fox movies to celebrate the studio’s 75th anniversary. Clothes on Film decided to make a visit, a bit late in the day, but we had a good look round anyway.

There were not that many costumes in the Fox exhibition (certainly considering the history of the studio), but the museum itself has plenty more to see. Just to be in the same room as some of these memorable outfits is a thrill, especially from more recent movies where memories are fresh. With this is mind, here is our pick of Fox’s lot and the best the museum has to offer:

Australia (2008):

One thing about Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, regardless of the quality of the film itself, is that the World War II era costumes are dazzling . This red »

- Chris Laverty

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‘Krull’ Weddings: The Awkward Teenage Years of Movie Marketing

16 August 2010 12:36 PM, PDT | The Moving Arts Journal | See recent The Moving Arts Journal news »

Like the plot of a dystopian fairy tale, the marketing campaign for last summer’s blockbuster “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was a well-oiled machine selling a film about machines. We saw giveaway contests, multi-platform games, the requisite high-tech tie-in (LG’s new Versa), free movie posters with purchase, and Burger King kid’s meals with one of eight Transformers figurines.  Fitting for a product that started as a toy, became a TV series, then a film franchise and a toy once again. Nothing surprising here; this is the studio marketing folk doing what they do, and doing it well.

These routine, sell-by-numbers operations inspire a certain nostalgia for the promotions of yesteryear. We look back with fondness on the horror movie posters stating ominous admission policies (no one admitted during the last five minutes, no pregnant women allowed at all) and begging the weak-of-heart to stay away. We remember »

- Tim Kirk

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Casting Notes: Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green in Camelot; Amy Ryan Joins In Treatment; James D’Arcy in W.E.

4 June 2010 5:10 PM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green will travel back to Camelot, the Starz series that re-tells the story of King Arthur. Fiennes is Merlin, while Green will be Morgana. Solid casting with both, though I'm not certain that I'll ever be able to look at an Arthurian film or TV series without having to leap the hurdle of some of Excalibur's actors. Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren are pretty difficult to top as Merlin and Morgana. In this Camelot Jamie Campbell Bower is Arthur, and Tamsin Egerton is Guinevere. [Reuters] After the break, the great Amy Ryan goes back to HBO and Madonna's possibly interesting new film finds its last major player. Amy Ryan will appear opposite Gabriel Byrne on the next season of HBO's In Treatment. She'll play the therapist to  Byrne's Dr. Paul Weston, also a therapist. Essentially, Ryan's character steps into the narrative position vacated by the departing Dianne Wiest. »

- Russ Fischer

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Robert and Boorman and Drew! Oh My!

22 May 2010 3:28 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Jose here.

Was Dorothy (Judy Garland) lying to us when she told us there's no place like home in The Wizard of Oz?

Judging from the way movie people are flocking back to Oz, it seems the little girl from Kansas might've missed something in her first trip.

As of today there are six, count them, films in development that have something to do with Frank L. Baum's timeless classic or the Victor Fleming film adaptation and that's not even including the much awaited stage to screen translation of Broadway blockbuster Wicked.

Everyone wants a piece of Oz and projects in development have attracted the attention of people like Drew Barrymore, Sean Astin and even the guy who made Deliverance.

But before we surrender to confusion let's go through each of the projects.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Set for release in 2011, this CGI adaptation of the original book will »

- Jose

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Actor Corin Redgrave dies

6 April 2010 7:14 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The actor Corin Redgrave has died at the age of 70, his family said in a statement today.

Redgrave, the holder of an Olivier theatre award and from the third generation of an acting dynasty, performed roles from Shakespeare, Noel Coward and Tennessee Williams as well as appearing in big box office films such as A Man for All Seasons, Excalibur, In the Name of the Father and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

With his sister Vanessa, he was also a prominent member of the Workers' Revolutionary party.

The family statement said: "Corin Redgrave has died today. He was taken ill at home in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"He died very peacefully surrounded by his family. We will miss him so very much."

TheatreJames Meikle

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is »

- James Meikle

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Ciaran Hinds and Writer/Director Conor McPherson Video Interveiws The Eclipse

23 March 2010 9:16 AM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Opening this Friday is writer/director Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse.  Set in a misty seaside town in Ireland, The Eclipse stars Ciarán Hinds as a grieving father struggling with the responsibility of raising two children without his wife.  While the film starts as a straight forward drama, we’re soon introduced to a supernatural element, as Hinds starts to see ghosts and visions. Almost immediately after, he’s driving around Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle), an author of supernatural fiction who is also dealing with her own demons at a local literary festival.  Together, they start to try and figure out what’s really going on.

What’s great about the film is the way it mixes genre’s with ease.  Usually when a director tries to mix drama and horror, one genre dominates and the other feels like it’s added in after the fact.  But that is not the case with The Eclipse, »

- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

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Bryan Singer may be forced to drop out of directing X-Men: First Class

20 March 2010 8:44 PM, PDT | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

Bryan Singer may have to step down from directing Fox's planned X-Men: First Class prequel because of other commitments, it's been reported.

Singer has several other projects on the table - including a planned remake of John Boorman's Arthurian epic Excalibur and a new Battlestar Galactica film - but his top priority is directing fairytale adventure Jack The Giant Killer for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures.

Fox is keen to proceed on more X-Men films as soon as possible but it's been suggested that Singer's work on Giant Killer means he will be tied up for the next two years.

Over at Hitfix, writer Drew McWeeny says: "Singer is already scouting locations for Jack The Giant Killer. He's deep into pre-production on the picture now, and it would seem almost actionable if he were to drop out at this point.

"The earliest he's going to be free to start »

- David Bentley

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Horror at the Oscars 3: The Spawning

10 March 2010 11:16 PM, PST | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

After the Academy’s attempt at honoring genre during the live show, we saw a real tribute to horror by someone who is truly one of our own. Bob Murawski thanked Sam Raimi for giving him his “first cutting job” in Army of Darkness. His Best Editing award for Hurt Locker was shared by his partner Chris Innis, whom he met on the Raimi produced TV show “American Gothic.”

I gotta say, never since Peter Jackson’s (who was nominated this year for District 9) thank you to the crew of Meet the Feebles has there been such an excellent genre shout out.

On top of working with Raimi for over a decade, Murawski also runs Grindhouse Releasing, which distributes and restores cult and horror films with a focus on extreme Italian cinema. Pieces, The Beyond, Cannibal Holocaust, and I Drink Your Blood are just a few names you’ll find in Grindhouse Releasing's catalogue. »

- Heather Buckley

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Guy Ritchie Giving King Arthur the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Treatment?

10 March 2010 5:33 PM, PST | ScreenRant.com | See recent Screen Rant news »

Coming off the biggest success of his career with the critically acclaimed Sherlock Holmes, director Guy Ritchie is poised to apply his unique cinematic talents to another legendary figure, King Arthur. According to Variety, Ritchie is currently attached to direct a “re-imagining” of King Arthur for Warner Brothers, based on a script from screenwriter John Hodge (Trainspotting). The film is being produced by Atlas Entertainment and Hollywood Gang.

Interestingly, the last thing we heard about Ritchie and King Arthur was that he might direct a re-imagining of the Excalibur legend. That project was to be written by comic book writer Warren Ellis, who is responsible for the comic series Red (now a film starring Bruce Willis), among other notable titles.

The fact that Ellis is not mentioned in the Variety article leads me to believe that perhaps Warner Brothers has decided to go in a different direction than an Excalibur re-imagining. »

- Rob Frappier

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Guy Ritchie Is Heading to Camelot, But Not With Warren Ellis

10 March 2010 1:15 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

Just two days ago, I brought you the rundown of what filmmakers were dusting off their Tennyson, Le Morte d'Arthur, T.H. White and John Boorman and heading back to that spot that was once known as Camelot. One of them is now officially official, as Variety reports that Guy Ritchie is attached to direct a new King Arthur film for Warner Bros. But instead of the Warren Ellis script that was being bandied around, Variety says it'll be scripted by Ritchie and John Hodge.

Beyond that, there's as little to go on as there was in the scraps of my previous Arthurian article. Variety notes that it will be a "re-imagining" of the Arthur myth, but that it's drawing on Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d' Arthur. This 15th century collection of tales has been the basis of just about every Arthur story to date, including John Boorman's Excalibur. »

- Elisabeth Rappe

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