Michael Matthews has a new movie to direct. According to Deadline, Michael Matthews will helm Disney’s Merlin, an adaptation of T.A. Barron’s novel series based on King Arthur’s mentor.
Matthews is best known for directing last year’s Love and Monsters, which starred Dylan O’Brien and Ariana Greenblatt. Matthews directorial debut was 2017’s western thriller Five Fingers for Marseilles.
Ridley Scott, who directed the 20th Century Medieval film The Last Duel, which opened in theaters last Friday, was originally attached to direct at one time but dropped out due to his hectic schedule.
Sources told Deadline that the picture is still in the beginning stages of development with Disney’s live-action division.
Based on the T.A. Barron books, the series chronicled the genesis tale of a youthful Merlin who went on to become the tutor of the legendary literary figure King Arthur. While numerous films have been made based on Arthurian legends, the first high-profile narrative to focus solely on Merlin’s story was the NBC miniseries Merlin, which featured Sam Neill.
The last time Disney made a movie about the classic fable of King Arthur’s humble beginnings was the 1963 animated film The Sword in the Stone.
However, the Arthurian stories haven’t exactly lit up the movie box office. Antoine Fuqua helmed the practically forgotten King Arthur, which reinvented the figure like a Roman soldier, in addition to Guy Ritchie’s legendary flop King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Joe Cornish’s The Kid Who Would Be King. Moreover, despite receiving rave reviews, filmmaker David Lowery’s The Green Knight, which also starred the character Merlin, was unable to recoup its production costs at the box office.
So, it’s a bit of a coin toss, and it is anyone’s guess if Disney’s live-action version of Merlin will be a flop or not.