Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur Epic Finds Its Merlin Figure in Djimon Hounsou

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Principle casting on Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur appears to be nearly complete today as Variety reports that Djimon Hounsou has signed on to play the story’s Merlin-equivalent opposite Charlie Hunnam’s Arthur, Astrid Berges-Frisbey’s Guinevere and (not quite locked yet) Jude Law’s unnamed villain.

Ambitiously planned to potentially span six films, King Arthur will offer a re-imagining of Arthurian legend. Believed to have been a 6th century King, Arthur defended Britain against Saxon invaders. The key source material for the film will be Thomas Mallory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur,” published in 1485 as a compilation of French and English tales.

Idris Elba was said to have been eyeing the quasi-Merlin role earlier this year, but ended up passing on the project due to schedule commitments.

Hounsou recently appeared in Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy and can be seen coming up in films like the fantasy adventure Seventh Son, the horror thriller The Vatican Tapes, the action ensemble Furious 7 and Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming take on Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan.

Already scheduled for a July 22, 2016 release, King Arthur was written by Joby Harold, who is producing with Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell and Ritchie himself. Cate Adams and Niija Kuykendall are overseeing for Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow.

(Photo Credit: WENN.com)