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Jerry Bruckheimer At The Round Table


By A Gent - Posted on 26 November 2004

Q: The historians were pleasantly surprised that you really wanted King Arthur to be as accurate as possible?
Jerry Bruckheimer: It's always hard to balance history with good storytelling. We were able to weave our drama and our characterisations against the backdrop of what the historians believe to be the Arthurian legend.

Q: What is the fascination for a 21st century audience?
J B: Everybody loves heroes and people who do the right thing for the right reasons. They love the camaraderie, the brotherhood, the nobility of those characters and that's why they were favourites with the French, the English and the Americans. That's why everybody has written about Arthur since the 7th century. And that is a long time to keep a myth alive. Now we have done our version and it will live on beyond us. Someone else will do another and maybe go back to the White, or the Mallory, version.

Q: How was King Arthur pitched to you in the first place?
J B: It was pitched as the Special Forces in the 5th century, this fighting machine that was sent into England to protect the Brits from themselves and also the invading forces and to protect Rome's interests in the country. It was retracing the history of the real Arthur.

Q: What about the idea of making King Arthur with a minimum of special effects?
J B: I love the real thing. The best stuff you get is a combination of the real thing and special effects. Of course for the ice battle we used a lot of special effects, but the big battles were all done for real.

Q: Hadrian's Wall was built on location in Ireland. Was it as impressive for you as it is for the audience?
J B: Yeah, I just kept looking at it and thinking, "God, this cost way too much money." (laughs) You want to see big shots like that.

Q: Do you hope the audience gets all the movie references, such as Seven Samurai, The Wild Bunch, The Magnificent Seven and Alexander Nevsky?
J B: Antoine (Fuqua) is a big fan of Kurasawa and Kurasawa was the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven and that is where it all came from. Antoine watched a number of his movies and admires his work.

Q: What about having a mainly British cast?
J B: I felt that in order to keep the reality the last thing you wanted was a huge American movie star in there. It's not King Arthur any more, it's just so-and-so playing King Arthur. And American audiences have no idea who Clive Owen is.

Q: You used Keira Knightly in Pirates Of The Caribbean. What was it that you saw in her?
J B: There is an honesty in her performance. She becomes the character. You believe her. She is a wonderful actress. You can tell that she has the goods. She is the real deal.

Q: Why Clive Owen?
J B: I always go for the best actors. He is a very handsome man. He has the ability to be a huge movie star. He was brilliant in Croupier; he was very good in Beyond Borders. He's just a good actor and the fact that he's handsome helps.

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