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Andy Serkis Boards the Family-Friendly Witcher Wagon in The Letter for the King Teaser

Gijs Blom plays Prince Viridian, a name that his parents must’ve known would lead to a life of evil.
Image: Netflix (YouTube)
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Netflix is leaning hard into this medieval fantasy thing. The first teaser is out for The Letter for the King, a series that stars Andy Serkis and His Dark Materials’ Amir Wilson in a tale about a young hero of “ancient prophecy” rising up against a warlord and uniting all the realms. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

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In the first teaser trailer, revealed by Entertainment Weekly, we hear a Dragonheart 3-esque narrator telling us of some epic war that the kingdoms of Unauwen and Dagonaut have waged on the southern lands of Eviellan for... reasons?... until a tyrannical ruler from... somewhere?... does some evil stuff that makes things worse. But luckily there’s a prophecy, because there’s always a goddamned prophecy.

Based on the novel by Dutch writer Tonke Dragt, The Letter for the King focuses on a young knight-in-training named Tiuri (Wilson) who’s tasked with delivering a secret letter to a king that’ll do...something? I’m guessing stop the war that’s been going on for thousands of years, though it’s unclear how or why, or even what side this warlord is on. Despite all the voice-over explanations in this teaser, it’s very unclear what the crap is actually going on in this fantasy world. I’m sure it makes sense if you’ve read the book!

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Serkis plays the Mayor of Mistrinaut, the scheming leader of a town that’s fallen on hard times, conspiring with his equally scheming daughter Lavinia (played by Serkis’ real-life daughter Ruby Serkis). The whole thing looks pretty silly and nothing in the teaser makes sense (except for the fact that it’s trying to ride the coattails of The Witcher), but you know what: A bit of harmless family-friendly fun set in Medieval times is...fine. Stupid, but fine. This is coming from someone who saw A Kid in King Arthur’s Court in theaters.

The Letter for the King arrives on March 20.


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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

God that’s a crap teaser. These things are supposed to grab the interest of the audience, not bore them. If it had been much longer, I may have fallen asleep.

Essentially, I want a reason to care. Show me something interesting or someone likeable. Then maybe put them in peril of some kind. *Then* hit me with the exposition.