Bestselling Christian novelist Stephen Lawhead’s Roman retelling of King Arthur is being prepped for the big screen.
Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing announced a multi-film adaption of the six-book series, The Pendragon Cycle, during what is the conservative media company’s equivalent of a state of the union address on Friday.
Testifying to Lawhead’s impact on him during his formative years, Boreing told a gathering of stakeholders,
“There’s a series of books I read as a teenager, that more than any other helped shape my worldview. It’s based on perhaps the most impactful myth in the Western tradition: The legend of King Arthur.”
Advent of Christendom
With enthusiasm, the 43-year-old political commentator, screenwriter, and Daily Wire executive exclaimed,
“I’m beyond thrilled to announce that Daily Wire+ has secured the rights to this unbelievable work. This is an incredible story about the fall of the Roman occupation in Great Britain, and the rise of Christianity in the blood-soaked, pagan islands.”
The Pendragon Cycle follows Arthur’s rise in a post-Roman British landscape, an era from which many believe the Arthurian legend sprung.
Lawhead draws from Celtic sources, reminiscent of 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes and historian John Morris, who argued in favour of the historical Arthur being a ‘Romano-British leader fighting against Anglo-Saxons in the 5th/6th centuries.’
Deadline, one of the first media outlets to give the news wider reach, explained that Lawhead’s Roman retelling is set at the end of an era: the fall of Roman Britain, where ‘pagan tribes rose to war against Saxon and Pict invaders.’
Adding to their brief synopsis, Christian fantasy pop-culture podcasters Lorehaven said the saga ‘combines Arthurian legends with Atlantis myths and early Celtic lore, exploring themes of love, friendship, and destiny.’
To make the films, Daily Wire will work alongside filmmaker and rising star Bonfire Legend.
BL announced the news on their Instagram page yesterday, writing that it was an ‘absolute honour to be able to bring Stephen R. Lawhead’s poetic words and characters to life!’
Aware of the enormity of the task, Jeremy Boreing said that adapting Lawhead’s Arthurian tale to film will be “the most ambitious thing we’ve ever set about to do. It’s going to be incredible.”
The film version of The Pendragon Cycle is set for a 2023 exclusive release on The Daily Wire’s subscription entertainment streaming service, Daily Wire+.
While most replies to the announcement on Twitter welcomed the news, some leftist critics took to Gamespot to complain.
Describing the book series as “dull,” the woke cancel-culture trolls wrote off the adaptation as “white supremacy propaganda” and wished for the series to end in “a disaster of epic proportions.”
With a projected revenue of USD $200M for 2022, the fringe-dweller criticism is likely to bounce off Boreing, who was also buoyed by The Daily Wire team reaching over 1 million subscribers.
Filling a Need
Tackling Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle, by all counts, is a genius move.
As John Nolte explained in his recent Breitbart piece discussing Quentin Tarantino’s diagnosis of the movie industry, there is a massive gap in the market, ready for anyone to fill with contemporary films made on the timeless film formula forged between the 1920s and 1980s.
Using Top Gun: Maverick as a high-point example, Nolte said that people are keen for fun films, full of action, adventure, smart comedy, dialogue, and freedom.
The problem is, Nolte asserted, ‘the entertainment industry has been captured by fascist social justice warriors.’
If The Daily Wire, alongside Bonfire Legend, applies the same well-rounded production, quality scriptwriting, and cast that the media company has shown it is capable of producing (see here), then the planned Lawhead films are set to compete well against Amazon’s LOTR themed Rings of Power, and Netflix’s planned adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, which will be co-produced by C.S. Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham.
The Daily Wire taking on Lawhead’s King Arthur saga is also a massive boost for Christian writers. The decision recognises the quality content produced by many writers, such as Frank Peretti, Jeff Gerke (Jefferson Scott), Ted Dekker, Dee Henderson, Lori Wick, Jannette Oke, and Francine Rivers (to name a few).
My only beef with Boreing’s news is that he didn’t pick Stephen Lawhead’s Hood Trilogy first!
Photo by Gioele Fazzeri.