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‘Arthur' Director Provides Darker Take on DVD

17 Dec, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

Director Antoine Fuqua's darker take on the legend of King Arthur gets even darker on DVD.

“The violence is much more graphic [in the director's cut DVD],” he said. “The battle scenes play through without so many cuts. It's a grittier film overall.”

Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases two DVD versions of Fuqua's King Arthur this week: the theatrical ‘PG-13' version and the director's cut. Both versions will include an alternate ending.

“It's what I shot originally,” he said. “It's a darker ending, but I think its more visceral, more satisfying for me.

“Everybody doesn't live happily ever after. They lose a friend. I have a difficult time with a happily-ever-after scenario.”

Fuqua also provides a commentary for the director's cut. Though he thinks it's nice to prepare, he prefers to shoot from the hip.

“I don't think the answers in the commentary would be as truthful [with preparation],” he said. “You talk about what you were happy with and not happy with. It just kind of all comes.”

“I don't really like doing commentaries,” he admitted, noting that he would have liked to have had a little more time to reflect on King Arthur before doing the commentary.“I prefer to do it after the movie's been out a while,” he said. “It's difficult to do it when you are too close.”

King Arthur is a film that may get a better reception with time. Its domestic theatrical rollout somewhat underperformed ($51.9 million box office), but it gained momentum internationally and may find its audience on DVD.

“I hope they find it and appreciate it,” Fuqua said. “It's difficult to release a film such as this in the summer. Kids want to see fantasy and silly comedies. It's a little dark for the summer.

“I'm hoping people will find it on DVD. There's a lot of history in the movie. I think they'll find that the knights of the roundtable are much more fascinating than we were ever told.”

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