A24 has revealed the first trailer for The Green Knight. This is the latest from writer/director David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story) and is set to be another big screen take on the legend of King Arthur, albeit from a different perspective. This is billed as “an epic fantasy adventure” and a “fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the knights of the round table.” Based on what we’re seeing in this trailer, that doesn’t appear to be boilerplate hype. This truly looks like a top-to-bottom fresh look at the Arthurian legend with a heavy metal makeover.
The trailer kicks off with a stylish long shot featuring Dev Patel as our lead character, Sir Gawain, sitting in a grand, dimly lit room meditating in fancy robes before his head literally bursts into flames. We then transition to some townsfolk watching a puppet show that ends up getting rather violent, with the footage alternating to scenes of Gawain heading out on a dangerous quest. The imagery doesn’t lend too much clarity to the story being told, but it is grand, bloody, dark and stunning. Specifically, there is a shot of a giant’s hand coming over a hilltop that is pretty impressive, and the final sequence is what one might refer to as the “money shot.”
While the jury is still out on if the entire movie is as impressive as the trailer suggests it is, at first glance, this appears to be a smart reinvention of a familiar tale for moviegoers to potentially enjoy. Look at what Warner Bros. tried to do with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in 2017. They went big with it. They were treading on familiar ground and it bombed. Granted, it was on a massive scale, but the King Arthur story has been told and retold far too many times. This looks nothing like the iterations we’ve been treated to previously, and that could help set it apart. Not to mention the stacked cast, which also includes Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Joel Edgerton (It Comes at Night) and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Fallout).
The Green Knight centers on Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s rash and unruly nephew, who sets off on a dangerous quest to confront the notorious Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. On his journey, Gawain will come up against ghosts, giants, thieves and schemers in what transforms into a deeper expedition to discover his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom.
David Lowery most recently directed Robert Redford’s last movie, The Old Man & the Gun. His movies generally go on to find critical acclaim, and he knows his way around a large-scale feature, as evidenced by the live-action Pete’s Dragon. This looks like it could be the perfect intersection of his indie sensibilities and ability to go big. The Green Knight is set to hit theaters on May 29 from A24. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself.