5 things to know about Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur
There’s a new king carrying Excalibur’s sword. This weekend, Charlie Hunnam will be crowned in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” a new take on the Merlin legend from director Guy Ritchie.
Five things you need to know about the big-budget spectacle: This is an origin story. In the supernatural-infused reboot, Arthur’s father (Eric Bana) is wrestled from his throne by his murderous brother Vortigern (Jude Law). Young Arthur escapes and is raised as an orphan in a brothel, where he takes up the life of a thief. A decade later, thanks to Vortigern’s paranoid edict forcing all young men in the kingdom be tested on their ability to wrest the sword from the stone, Arthur’s birthright proves hard to avoid. “One of the big problems with the Arthurian legend is it’s so sprawling,” says Hunnam, 37. “So what Guy had wanted to do, very smartly, was just tell the first chapter of the story.”
Charlie Hunnam has been ready for years.
The British actor launched his 2017 silver-screen offensive last month with “The Lost City of Z,” rose to fame as a dangerous biker on “Sons of Anarchy” and infamously pulled out as the lead in “Fifty Shades of Grey.” He moved to Hollywood 20 years ago to launch his career. “It’s not like he’s new to any of this,” says Ritchie.
Um, he’s really, really ripped in the role.
Let’s just say Hunnam didn’t have much work to do to get in shape for King Arthur. “He never seems to carry more than 6 per cent body fat,” says Ritchie with mock annoyance. Hunnam’s routine? “I did some Thai boxing, Jiu-Jitsu,” he told Kristen Bell when she filled in on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week. “I set myself a goal of doing 1,000 pushups a day minimum for six months. I’m a little bit crazy so if there was a day that I didn’t get the thousand, I would punish myself and have to do 2,000 the next day. You’ve got to get after it. Eye of the tiger!”
More ‘Arthur’ could be on the way.
Hunnam has signed on for more instalments, should the box office be fruitful. Is he up for it? “Absolutely,” he says. “I grew up on (1981’s) ‘Excalibur.’ I must have watched it four dozen times. It’s one of the great stories. I would hope (future movies) would be with Guy. That’s always the roll of the dice for an actor who signs on to these type of things.”
Yes, that’s David Beckham with the bad teeth.
Look closely: Beckham has a cameo as a solider watching as Hunnam attempts to pull Excalibur from its stubborn resting place. How could you miss him? Well, Ritchie decorated his famous friend in a prosthetic nose, facial scars and rotted teeth. “I sat next to him as he was watching his bit, and I could feel him shrinking in his chair,” says Ritchie with a laugh, who last hired Beckham to appear as a movie projectionist in 2015’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” “He’s the most wonderful man.”