The Kid Who Would Be King
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Credit: 20th Century Fox

The Kid Who Would Be King: First trailer puts a young and modern spin on Excalibur myth

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Oct 17, 2018, 9:54 AM EDT

Joe Cornish made a splash with his 2011 directorial debut, the sci-fi comedy Attack the Block, which introduced mainstream audiences to John Boyega.

In the last seven years, Cornish has maintained a low profile behind the scenes, nabbing writing credits on The Adventures of Tintin and the first Ant-Man. He even had a small cameo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but hasn't made a second film in nearly a decade.

Finally, the writer/director makes his return behind the camera with The Kid Who Would Be King, a modern take on the myths of King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur, and The Knights of the Round Table. Based on the first trailer from 20th Century Fox, it was worth the wait and then some.

Watch it below:

Set in modern-day England, the movie follows Alex (Louis Serkis, son of Andy), a young student, who discovers the Sword in the Stone one evening while being chased by bullies. Being worthy, he is able to extricate the weapon from the earth and unknowingly places himself at the center of a prophecy involving the return of the evil witch Morgana (Mission: Impossible's Rebecca Ferguson).

To aid Alex on his quest is Merlin, who takes a younger form (Angus Imrie) to fit in with the rest of the young students. However, his real form is actually that of Sir Patrick Stewart.

And so a boy who was once unable to stand up for himself and others becomes a true, bona fide leader and hero. Obviously, it's a story we've seen before, but Cornish's unique touch and voice both elevate and subvert what would otherwise be cliched material. Just watch the scene in the trailer where Alex and his fellow "knights" have to lift up the flaps on a table so it can be round.

Our elevator pitch is: A Kid in King Arthur's Court meets Enchanted meets Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson meets Goosebumps meets Ready Player One.

The Kid Who Would Be King gets crowned in theaters January 25, 2019.