Charlie Hunnam Reveals He Still Wants to Make More ‘King Arthur,’ Why the Movie Failed

Some characters, no matter how old, just don’t seem to never fade away. For example, how many times have you seen a movie or TV show about Tarzan? What about Sherlock Holmes? Robin Hood? Hercules? You get the point.

Regardless of how many times these characters have been revisited and reinterpreted, studios continue to believe audiences will flock to see a “new take” on the franchise. Such was likely the thought process behind Warner Bros. 2017 release King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Despite that film’s failure, star Charlie Hunnam recently said he’d love to try again.

Charlie Hunnam is interviewed by Andy Cohen
Charlie Hunnam is interviewed by Andy Cohen | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was a notorious flop

Director Guy Ritchie reportedly had a master plan in mind with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The film was intended to be a launchpad for an epic franchise spanning six films about the iconic ruler’s adventures. But that plan was cast aside soon after Ritchie’s movie hit theaters.

Made for a $175 million budget, Warner Bros. spared no expense giving Ritchie a very expensive canvas from which he could bring his vision to life. Audiences didn’t turn out for it, however, as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword earned just $39 million domestically and $149 million worldwide.

So Ritchie went on to make Disney’s live-action mega-hit Aladdin and put his hopes for a grand King Arthur series away. The ensemble cast — which also includes Jude Law,  Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana — all moved on too. Hunnam, on the other hand, still wants another crack at Arthur.

Charlie Hunnam still wants to make sequels

During a recent interview with Sirius XM, Hunnam discussed the failure of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the big-picture plans he and Ritchie had hatched.

I’d like to go back to King Arthur because there’s a lot of things that went wrong during that and a lot of things that were out of our control. I just don’t think we ended up matching the aspiration — we just didn’t quite make the movie we wanted. The idea was that if it was a success, we would’ve made several of those films, and I’m really captivated by the Arthurian legends and I just feel like we really missed an opportunity to tell a long-form story.

Turning King Arthur into a serialized is indeed a cool idea. Certainly, there are a lot of stories for Ritchie and his team to explore. However, without enough audience interest to warrant it, such a franchise was never going to happen.

Reports claimed Ritchie’s original vision was severely cut down, and Hunnam blames a “piece of miscasting” as the big reason why the film ultimately failed. However, he adds this performance was ultimately removed from the movie, lending further credence to the notion that audiences never really saw Ritchie’s vision truly come to life.

Guy Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam reunite for ‘The Gentlemen’

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword might have been a franchise non-starter for Ritchie and Hunnam. But the director-actor duo clearly enjoyed working together. Their new film, The Gentlemen, releases Jan. 24, 2020. The R-rated crime film marks something of a return to form for Ritchie, best known for movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.

Hunnam co-stars alongside Matthew McConaughey, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant. We have no indication whether Warner Bros. or Ritchie will ever try to bring that King Arthur series back from the dead. But we like to imagine Hunnam and Ritchie at least discussed it during production on The Gentlemen.