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Friday, October 21, 2011

Film Fantasy Friday: The Once and Future King

I'm finally doing it: a cast for my favorite book of all time. I am not going to divulge how much time this took; let's just jump in. In case you aren't familiar with the book (or its musical, Camelot), the run-down is thus: the boy Arthur has a mostly-idyllic childhood, becomes king, tries to be a good king and general decent person, is punished in a myriad cruel ways for his troubles, dies. A rather huge book, The Once and Future King has a large cast, and only the most essential are cast here. You may not that only adult actors are used here--I decided to skip the first portion of the book, "The Sword in the Stone." In all seriousness, this book would require a TV miniseries to do completely properly, as it covers a span of fifty years or so.

Arthur: played by Sean Bean, King Arthur is the forward-thinking lord of Britain who attempts to keep Might from ruling by instituting a code of knightly chivalry. Like all good men, he is mostly punished for his attempts.

Merlin: played by Donald Sutherland, Merlin is a bumbling yet wise wizard who happens to be living backward.

Guenever: played by Kristin Scott Thomas, Guenever is Arthur's queen and Lancelot's lover. She is frustrated by her lack of children and torn between the two men she loves.

Lancelot: played by Mads Mikkelsen, Lancelot is considered Arthur's greatest knight, yet his self-loathing is what really drives him.

Gawain: played by Kevin McKidd, Gawain is the oldest of the Orkney sons and struggles between his family loyalty and his devotion to Arthur.

Gareth: played by Tony Curran, Gareth is the second-youngest of the Orkney sons. His belief in Arthur's code defines his life.

Mordred: played by Domhnall Gleeson, Mordred is the youngest of the Orkneys...and Arthur's bastard son. Twisted by his isolated upbringing and his hatred for his father, Mordred is the doom of the kingdom.

Morgause: played by Kate Winslet, Morgause is Arthur's half-sister and the mother of his only son. She is nuckin' futs.

Galahad: played by Jeremy Sumpter, Galahad is Lancelot's son, an even better knight than his father, and as perfect a human being as ever was. Predictably everyone hates him.

Elaine: played by Gina McKee, Elaine is Galahad's mother. She loves Lancelot and tries to bring him into her life in various mostly-sad ways.


Donna Banta said...

Terrific cast! One of my favorite scenes in that (of any) book is when Merlin's dishes wash themselves. -- I want those dishes in my house!

MamaMunky said...

Such an amazing cast for such an amazing book. Sean Bean is perfect. So is Jeremy Sumpter and Donald Sutherland. Really the whole cast is amazingly spot-on.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I love Kate Winslet. She is gorgeous and totally up to the challenge of a nuckin' futs Morgause.

Diana said...

Donna--that scene is excellent. I hope to someday live in a cottage like Merlin's: stuffed with strange artifacts and always ready for tea.

MamaMunky--thanks! I think it was Sutherland in the new Pride and Prejudice that cemented him as Merlin in my head.

Dissenter--Winslet is exactly the femme fatale necessary for this Morgause!

Ain't No Mo No Mo said...

Nice casting!!! I'd never thought of Sean Bean as Arthur, but it totally works.

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