Bryan Singer Pulls The Sword From The Stone

You’ve got to wonder, does Hollywood have more money than sense? Warner Bros has, according to Variety , been labouring "for months to pull together the rights” to remake Excalibur, with Bryan (Superman Returns) as the proposed director.

Hang on. Excalibur? That's the 1981 John Boorman-directed film about King Arthur and Camelot. The one with knights rutting in full armour and a Jewish Merlin. More to the point – the one based on Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, a book over 500 years old. Which you'd assume would make it pretty much out of copyright by any country’s legal definition. In any case, Le Morte D’Arthur is based on a myth, and not even Disney has managed to copyright myths yet.

So quite why Warner Bros needed to buy the rights to Excalibur is mystifying. Why not just make a new film based on the legend of King Arthur? It's not like trumpeting "a remake of Excalibur!" in publicity is going to generate many more bums on seats – whatever your opinion of Boorman’s movie, it's hardly a zeitgeist-troubling piece of celluloid, but rather fodder for a good film buffs’ argument down the pub. Surely there'd be more marketing value in remaking The Sword In The Stone?

The news that Singer will – if all goes plan – direct the movie means that the X-Men helmer now has three projects on the boil. His next project will most likely be Jack The Giant Killer for New Line, and he’s also been connected to a Battlestar Galactica movie (a franchise he’s been toying with since his 2001 attempt to get a TV series made). There have also been rumours that Marvel has been trying to entice him back into the X-Men, possibly to direct X-Men: First Class, the prequel about the early days of the mutant superheroes at Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. Certainly Marvel producer Lauren Shuler Donner has gone on record saying she love Singer to direct one of the company’s various upcoming X-projects.

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