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With 'Pendragon' project, 'Losers' director looks to win at the round table

March 5, 2010 | 12:07 pm

Sylvain White could be headed from black-ops agents to medieval jousters.

KnigThe up-and-coming director, who was behind the camera for the April 23 hit-man action film "The Losers," is negotiating to take on "Pendragon," a story of knights and kings set in period England. (The title is a reference to the medieval English term for "chief dragon," a euphemism for leader.)

The "Pendragon" script, from Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, is an origin story of a sort, looking at characters like Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere as they meet at Camelot. (Hey, if Kirk and Spock could do it....) White also directed "Stomp the Yard," so he knows a little about youthful drama and romance.

Shipman and McGreevy would be adding to the rich folklore about the heroes who are reputed to have led a fight against a Saxon invasion in 6th century England. While scholars have debated the legitimacy of the King Arthur legend, numerous writers have created and embroidered stories about him and the famed Knights of the Round Table.

The film is set up at Fox-based production company New Regency, which is also behind the upcoming Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz vehicle "Knight & Day" (not a medieval movie).

Medieval tales have been feature hits; in fact, Hollywood seems to take on one or two big medieval stories at least once a decade -- "Excalibur" in 1981, "A Knight's Tale" in 1995 and "First Knight" in 2001, to name a few. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe come at us with "Robin Hood" this spring, though with bow-and-arrows instead of swords. Can you say crossover franchise?

--Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Heath Ledger in "A Knight's Tale." Credit: Egon Endrenyi / Columbia Pictures