Epix Is Adapting Bernard Cornwell’s King Arthur Trilogy, The Warlord Chronicles

A new adaptation of the life of King Arthur is coming to viewers. Premium cable network Epix announced that it is adapting Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles trilogy, starting with The Winter King.

Cornwell originally published the trilogy in 1995. Set in Arthurian Britain, he takes a new look at the legendary king through the eyes of a soldier-turned-monk named Derfael Cadarn. Cornwell continued the trilogy in 1996 with Enemy of God, and 1997 with Excalibur.

Bad Wolf, the studio behind HBO’s His Dark Materials and Sky One’s A Discovery of Witches,  will produce the project. Epix has recently dipped its toes in the original content game with shows like Pennyworth (based on the Batman character), spy drama Berlin Station, and an adaptation of Slate’s podcast Slow Burn. This also isn’t the first time that Cornwell’s works have been adapted: BBC Two and Netflix previously adapted his Saxon Stories series as The Last Kingdom. 

The Warlord Chronicles comes at a time when streaming services are looking to fill the Game of Thrones-shaped hole in our viewing schedules, and Cornwell’s take on the character could be a good replacement if it’s made. While HBO has a successor series called House of the Dragon in the works, we likely won’t see that until 2022. In the meantime, a number of other epic fantasy shows are hitting screens or are on their way: HBO just released an adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Netflix just released an adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series and is developing an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Amazon has adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series in the works, Weta Workshop and Legion M are working on an adaptation of Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades, and more.

There are some other, King Arthur-adjacent project in the pipeline as well: Ridley Scott is reportedly developing a series based on T.A. Barron’s Merlin Saga, while Disney has brought on Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) to direct a live-action remake of its its animated film The Sword in the Stone.

Epix didn’t provide a time frame for when the series could come together. Hopefully, it’ll be a better take on King Arthur than some of the other movies out there.


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