Ritchie's version sees Hunnam's Arthur raised in a medieval brothel with no knowledge of his royal bloodline after the murder of his monarch father. Arthur works as a gangster on the streets of Londinium until he one day pulls a magical sword from a stone and is forced to face his destiny.
Asked by UPI about his previous knowledge of Arthurian legend and what he wanted to incorporate in this latest re-telling of the tale, the 37-year-old actor revealed at a recent New York press conference: "I had grown up really enjoying the John Boorman version of the story [Excalibur] and I'd read The Once and Future King, but mainly I was just excited about the idea of what Guy would do with this world as an enormous fan of Guy's my whole life. ...
"Just the idea of making this fresh and young and exciting and accessible to a new audience ... just the one-line pitch of 'Guy Ritchie's King Arthur,' you sort of, at least I think, it was familiar and having always loved Guy's work, it just made a lot of sense right off the bat," Hunnam continued. "Because we are only telling the first chapter of the story, it was sort of an origins story, there was the opportunity there to go a little bit deeper into what that story would look like.
"I loved Guy's instinct that it would be a slightly more ignoble [adventure.] We've always seen the very noble version. I always quote Guy and how he said, 'We've seen the story of the noble man who goes on the noble quest to become the noble king' and we just thought, 'Let's do the opposite.' And that just seemed sort of exciting in the context of this being an origins story and, like, the true story of the reluctant hero, but where that reluctance would come from starts to become really exciting within that paradigm."