Fans of Arthurian tales, behold! The new, official trailer for A24 Films’ upcoming movie, The Green Knight, was released on May 11th. This movie was originally scheduled to debut at the 2020 SXSW festival and premiere in theaters in May 2020, but was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ars Technica. The Green Knight will instead make its way to theaters this summer on July 30th.
The Green Knight is based off Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a 14th-century medieval poem. According to the the University of York’s database of Middle English Romance, the poem begins with a New Year’s feast at Camelot. A strange knight dressed all in green, carrying a holly branch and an axe, enters the hall and announces a challenge to the Knights of the Round Table. He proposes that one of the knights hit him with his axe and then, in a year’s time, receive the returning blow. Sir Gawain (nephew to King Arthur and one of the most iconic Knights of the Round Table) volunteers and beheads the knight. To everyone’s amazement, the knight picks up his head and exits the hall, telling Sir Gawain to meet him at the Green Chapel in a year’s time to fulfill the terms of their bargain.
Over the course of the year, Sir Gawain faces various challenges on the way to his second meeting with the Green Knight. No spoilers here! To learn what specific encounters and obstacles befall Sir Gawain, you’ll have to wait and see what happens in The Green Knight. Or, read a translation of the original poem! There are many available, including one by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Polygon reports that the film’s director David Lowery will keep many of the poem’s original plotlines the same, but also “has stripped way back from the gallantry and magic of the original romantic poem, in favor of a much darker and more sinister tone.” The film will show Sir Gawain’s encounters with “ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers” according to the official movie synopsis.
The film stars Dev Patel as Sir Gawain. Other notable cast members include Alicia Vikander as Essel, Joel Edgerton as Lord, Sarita Choudhury as Mother, and Ralph Ineson as the Green Knight.
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