The first trailer for The Kid Who Would Be King, from the director of Attack the Block, looks to be your classic cheesy family fare, about a boy who finds the Sword of Excalibur and trains an army of tweens to fight fiery demons from hell. Wait, hold on a second.
The Kid Who Would Be King stars Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Alex, a down-on-his-luck kid at possibly the worst school in the UK—their solution to him being bullied is to tell him: “It’s not their problem, it’s yours.” Alex’s luck changes when he comes across a literal sword in a stone, pulling it from its quarried sheath and emerging as the new wielder of Excalibur. He has to team up with his BFFs and the famous Merlin (Patrick Stewart) to take on Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), who’s summoned an army of dark creatures to take over the world.
When I first heard about The Kid Who Would Be King, it seemed like just another silly kids movie, the A Kid In King Arthur’s Court of 2019. That would be fine, because kids deserve fun movies, even when they’re stupid. But this one feels different. It seems more—how do I say—“retro.” Not a period piece like Stranger Things, but a kids movie that harkens back to that time before PG-13 was really a thing, when it was okay to put your young protagonists in mortal danger. Something akin to Monster Squad or The Goonies.
For crying out loud, there’s an army of children. Like, not even Harry Potter-esque magical children. Normal kids. Wielding swords. Against an army of demons.
The Kid Who Would Be King comes out March 1, 2019. Let’s hope director Joe Cornish keeps the kid corpse count at a bare minimum.
Correction: An earlier version of this post didn’t include Louis Ashbourne Serkis’ first name. We regret the error.