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Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore to make A Knight's Tale TV series

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Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore to make A Knight's Tale TV series

Following on from his excellent, critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica reboot, Ron Moore has several adaptations of properties as TV series in development. He's working on a reboot of the 1960s TV series Wild, Wild West, and an adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series of novels. And now, he's added A Knight's Tale to that list. Deadline reports that:

“The series is expected to stay close to the premise and the style of the movie – it is described as a medieval fantasy incorporating modern music and themes that follows the journey of a young man who starts out impersonating a knight of the realm and ends up becoming one.”

A Knight’s Tale is one of the best and most entertaining movies ever, with quotable dialogue, great performances, and catchy, deliberately anachronistic music. It features an underrated performance from the late Heath Ledger in the lead role, seven years before his spellbinding turn in The Dark Knight. However, he’s perhaps not as irreplaceable in his role as William Thatcher/Sir Ulrich Von Lichtenstein as he is as the Joker. Thus, one can imagine the role being recast without ruining the franchise. It is primarily William’s story, after all, so they really need someone to play the role, even though it’s also very much an ensemble piece. So hopefully they’ll be able to bring back as many of the original actors as possible, both because of their individual talents and to preserve the cast’s chemistry as much as possible.

In particular, even though Paul Bettany and Alan Tudyk are probably quite busy, they’re so good that they need to be in it. And James Purefoy and maybe Rufus Sewell could guest star from time to time.

If Paul Bettany’s in it, they need to have him do eloquent, sometimes rabble-rousing “Previously on…” voiceovers at the start of each episode.

They should also have an intro teasing the episode, set to Bear McCreary’s fast-paced drum music, just like with BSG.

They have to get Carter Burwell back to do the music. And, okay, Bear McCreary can help out. (Both of them are as talented as their names are unusual.)

Interestingly, both Battlestar Galactica and A Knight’s Tale deal with themes of identity, though in different ways. Presumably the TV series of A Knight's Tale will explore such themes further.

If the TV series is a sequel to the movie, then perhaps it could deal with the question of, once he’s won the tournament, beaten Count Adhemar, and got the girl, where does William go from here? Maybe there are corrupt, oppressive knights (like Adhemar, and maybe even including Adhemar himself) who he has to stand up to; maybe having to defeat them in jousting in order to stop them somehow. Maybe he has to ride for others, and not just himself. (Though he did (eventually, reluctantly) lose for Jocelyn.)

Or perhaps the TV series could take place during the timeframe of the movie, showing William/Ulrich fighting in various tournaments, having various adventures (and misadventures) as he makes his name.

In any case, there’s plenty of potential to explore the character dynamics, especially some of the wackier secondary characters, as well as the world of A Knight’s Tale as a whole. The movie is pretty much perfect on its own terms, so hopefully the TV series will function essentially as an organic extension of it.

In terms of new casting, who could play William Thatcher? There are probably several actors who one could make a case for, but Charlie Cox would be a good choice. Though his career didn't take off after starring in the brilliant Stardust (which, incidentally, provides genre-hopping entertainment in a similar way to the likes of A Knight's Tale), he's got the charisma, heart, and sufficient action-hero-ness to play William Thatcher.

Ron Moore could raid his talented cast of BSG actors to play new characters. For instance, Jamie Bamber might fit well into that world, as some kind of knight or other noble. And obviously James Callis, because he’s just a great actor and very charismatic. Also maybe Michael Hogan and/or Grace Park, because of sheer talent. And Tamoh Penikett could play a knight (interestingly, in Dollhouse, he’s “not the white knight”).

Also, Wil Wheaton should play a snarky, evil knight who constantly teases William, until William finally beats him. Just because. Also, this would mean that William could at some point charge along on a horse, yelling “Wil Wheatonnn…!” It would break the fourth wall, but no-one cares, because it’s Wil Wheaton.

The film version of A Knight's Tale is so good that it sort of doesn’t need any continuation, whether sequel or spin-off, but it also evokes a colourful, vibrant, and adventuresome world, which features some great characters. So it could either be terrible or awesome. Right now, let’s go for awesome. Besides, it has Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore, as well as A Knight’s Tale writer-director Brian Helgeland, onboard. Battlestar Galactica is an excellent show, though significantly more serious than A Knight’s Tale. Still, the world of A Knight’s Tale encompasses action and drama as well as comedy and fun, so with Helgeland onboard (who incorporated a lot of wit into the movie, among other things), they should be able to get that balance right.

Carefully selected pop/rock music will presumably play a key part. And if Carter Burwell and Bear McCreary were to collaborate, both to select existing music (though then the production would have to pay for the right) and perhaps to come up with their own take on them (a la Bear McCreary’s awesome, rocky take on Jimmy Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower), the result could be something special.

This is now my most anticipated upcoming TV series, ahead of Joss Whedon’s SHIELD TV series, the How to Train Your Dragon TV series, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, Tron: Uprising, Star Wars: Detours, and the eventual Star Wars live action TV series. Sorry, Joss Whedon. You're still awesome, and Firefly is still the best TV series ever.

Random IMDb fact: Berenice Bejo, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Peppy Miller in The Artist, plays Jocelyn’s servant/maid-in-waiting Christiana in A Knight’s Tale.

(And Sir Ector is Little John from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.)


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