Guy Ritchie and Charlie Hunnam’s King Arthur Movie Pushed to March 2017
This week has been awash with release date switch-ups, the most major being Lucasfilm’s decision to move Star Wars: Episode VIII from a May release date to another Christmas-hugging slot closer to the date that brought The Force Awakens such staggering success. This move is expected to trigger a chain reaction of moves for big-name releases, with films strategically avoiding competitive weekends. Today brings news of another delay, though its placement appears unrelated to the Star Wars postponement.
Variety reports that Warner Bros. has pushed Guy Ritchie’s planned King Arthur movie Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur from its President’s Day release date of February 17, 2017 to March 24. This is the second time the studio postponed the project, having already moved it to February from July 22, 2016. With a cast including Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Honsou, Jude Law, Katie McGrath, and Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, the film is going to give a grittier edge to the classic tale of Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, in the same vein as Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood movie.
Warner Bros.’ strategy on this move seems unclear; studios usually swap a movie’s release date to either avoid conflict with another title that could easily crush them, or to give the production more time to do whatever needs doing. A change as slight as a month couldn’t make a huge difference in Ritchie’s production calendar, but then, there are no immediately apparent blockbusters that could scare them away from the February date. The only releases previously announced for February 17, 2017 were Bad Boys 3 and the next installment of the Maze Runner franchise, neither of which are guaranteed a huge payday. However, King Arthur will now open against Lionsgate’s Power Rangers reboot, expected to be a big earner for the studio. What all this rejiggering amounts to will only become clear once these films are actually released, however. Like, a year from now.