Cursed Chronicles Arthurian Legend Through the Eyes of the Future Lady of the Lake
Frank Miller is a creative legend. (We can discuss his politics in another post). Miller’s work during the early ‘80s rocked the comic book industry like a level-ten earthquake. His dark and violent takes on Batman and Daredevil reshaped pop culture’s image of comic books. And Miller’s titles Sin City and 300 were adapted into successful Hollywood films. Their “mature” content and ground-breaking visuals helped legitimatize comic book movies as adult entertainment.
Miller’s later works haven’t had the same impact as his classics. And slapping his name on a title no longer gives it instant credibility. But my ears still perk up whenever I hear he’s producing new content. Last year it was announced that Miller is teaming up with Netflix to create and executive produce a new ten-episode series called Cursed.
Cursed is described as a coming-of-age story based on the Arthurian legend. Tom Wheeler is also an executive producer/showrunner/writer on the show and will write the YA companion book that Miller will illustrate. Now we’ve received a few more details about the show. According to Netflix, Cursed is finally going into production this month and will begin shooting in England and Wales.
Here is what Netflix has to say about Cursed:
Cursed, based on the upcoming book of the same name, is a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of the young woman who would become the Lady of the Lake. Cursed is a coming-of-age story with themes familiar to our own time: the obliteration of the natural world, religious zeal and oppression, senseless war and finding the courage to lead in the face of the impossible.
It’s too early for production stills from the show, but here are some casting announcements to whet your appetite. The cast includes Devon Terrell (Barry), Gustaf Skarsgård (Westworld, Vikings), Daniel Sharman (Fear the Walking Dead, Medici), Peter Mullan (Ozark), Lily Newmark (Pin Cushion), Shalom Brune-Franklin (The State, Our Girl), Sebastian Armesto (Poldark, Broadchurch), Emily Coates (Flack), Catherine Walker (Versailles, The Delinquent Season) and Billy Jenkins (The Crown, Holmes & Watson, Humans) join Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why, Love, Simon) in the cast of Cursed.
It’s a great time to be a moviegoer who enjoys films about Arthurian mythology. In 2017 Guy Ritchie released King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The film envisioned King Arthur and his knights of the round table through the lens of a modern-day gangster flick. Think Game of Thrones meets Snatch. Despite its colossal budget and a strong cast, the film failed to catch on. Arthur: Legend of the Sword is an interesting failure; the work of an ambitious filmmaker swinging for the fences. But studios have no patience for box office bombs, and there’s little chance we get a follow-up. It doesn’t help that in less than a year the picture has already evaporated from pop culture’s consciousness.
Earlier this year, Attack the Block director Joe Cornish put his own spin on the mythology. His movie, The Boy Who Would Be King is a solid film that sees a group of youngsters cast as the spiritual successors of King Arthur and his loyal knights. Taking place in 2019, Cornish’s film proves how malleable the King Arthur story is. And it shows that in the right hands, there’s no reason for Arthurian legend re-imaginings to fail.
It’s too soon to tell if this series will be any good, and I won’t hold my breath waiting for Miller to nail the story from the perspective of a young woman. But I guarantee this show will be interesting. The casting of Peter Mullan alone will carry me through at least two wonky episodes.
I hope that Cursed proves me wrong.
Netflix has yet to announce Cursed’s release date.