Similar to countless releases hitting theatres and streaming platforms alike right about now, The Green Knight directed by David Lowery was initially scheduled to premiere internationally last year. As you’re well aware at this stage, COVID-19 doesn’t give a Frenchman’s fuck about any studio’s slate, hence the 12-month delay. But it does appear as though A24’s gritty adaptation of the classic Arthurian legend will have been truly worth the wait, as the Academy Award-winning Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion) leads the upcoming story-driven spectacle.
Based on the poem Sir Gawain & The Green Knight most notably translated from Middle English by The Lord of the Rings scribe J.R.R. Tolkien circa 1920s, Patel takes on the role of Sir Gawain – the youngest member of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table; nephew to King Arthur – who must honour a dire agreement with a supernatural, tree-like knight (hang in there… it actually gets good).
The footage provided depicts Patel’s Sir Gawain accepting the call to action and striking the knight, taking his head clean off, and securing ownership of a beautiful axe in the process. The agreement, however, entails they reunite exactly a year to the day in a chapel, at which point the knight may strike Sir Gawain once – thereby deciding who gets to keeps the prized axe. By all accounts, this promises to be a faithful adaptation on Lowery’s part, sans some silliness from the original text. “Some”… there’s still a talking fox.
In addition to Dev Patel, the film feature Alicia Vikander as Lady / Esel, Australia’s own Joel Edgerton as Lord, Sarita Choudhury as Mother, Sean Harris as King Arthur, Kate Dickie as Queen Guinevere, and Ralph Ineson as the titular Green Knight. The screenplay has been adapted by David Lowery himself.
The Green Knight will finally be screened in cinemas the world over starting from July 30th this year – watch the latest trailer above.