EXCLUSIVE: Going into his seventh and final season as the prince of the motorcycle club in Sons Of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam will next have the opportunity to rise to king. Hunnam is director Guy Ritchie’s choice to play King Arthur in the epic Warner Bros project hatched by Joby Harold and intended to span six films. Harold wrote the first script and Akiva Goldsman is producing through Weed Road with Harold and Tory Tunnell through Safehouse Pictures, and Ritchie’s partner Lionel Wigram. Hunnam is in final negotiations to play the man who pulls the sword from the stone.
If you ever doubted whether Hunnam made the right call passing on playing Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey, well, this story then is mean to convince you he is in pretty good shape. He’s already got a franchise at Warner Bros and Legendary in the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim, and now he’s poised to play one of the most iconic characters in literature and movie history. And from what I saw of the first three episodes of the final Sons Of Anarchy season that I watched before live blogging the Emmys Monday with the show’s creator Kurt Sutter, Hunnam is perfectly suited for this job. In those episodes, he’s evocative of Denzel Washington in Man On Fire, as he squares the ledger for the brutal murder of his wife, the tragic event that ended the show’s Season Six.
The King Arthur saga has been a priority project in different incarnations at Warner Bros for years. There was a different version Ritchie was going to make based on a script by Trainspotting scribe John Hodge; another that David Dobkin scripted (studio paid him $2 million) and was going to direct, until the $130 million budget on Arthur & Lancelot was deemed $20 million too high in a movie that was to topline Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington to play Arthur and Robocop’s Joel Kinnaman to play Lancelot. Another attempt on that movie was made with Colin Farrell as Arthur and Gary Oldman as Merlin, to no avail. Then there was the new version of John Boorman’s excellent Excalibur that had X-Men helmer Bryan Singer attached, and there was a Harry Potterseque take developed by producer Donald De Line.
Trust me. When you see Hunnam as Jax Teller leading the Sons into the final brutal revenge filled final season, I think you’ll agree that he has all the intensity necessary to play King Arthur, and that this is a better post-Sons course for him than playing the S&M fetishist billionaire Christian Grey, a role that Sutter and I agreed is better suited to a newcomer than an established actor on the cusp of movie stardom.If he’s reading this right now, I guarantee you that Sons creator Sutter is looking for someone right now to high-five. There has also been talk that Luther‘s Idris Elba is circling the role of Merlin, so this is shaping up to be a pretty good version. Hunnam is repped by CAA and Brillstein. Niija Kuykendall and Cate Adams are overseeing the film for the studio.
Here’s the trailer for Sons’ final season: