Hollywood’s fresh-faced prince of prestige drama ascends to a throne fit for a leading man in the first trailer for Netflix’s historical biopic The King.
Call Me by Your Name star Timothée Chalamet leads the cast of Australian director David Michôd’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henriad plays, which follows Hal (Chalamet), the wayward heir to the English throne who’s ultimately crowned King Henry V in the wake of his tyrannical father’s (Ben Mendelsohn) death. Shortly after reluctantly assuming his reign, however, the fledgling royal must balance political conflicts and the resulting war his father left behind, while also grappling with emotional ties to his conflicted past.
Along for the ride are Hal’s closest friend and mentor, an alcoholic knight, John Falstaff (Joel Edgerton, who co-wrote the film’s script with Michôd) and Louis, French Duke of Guyenne (Robert Pattinson).
The preview, above, opens on the king overseeing a beheading (RIP to Eddie Marsan’s character) before diving into a conversation between him and John Fallstaff.
“A new chapter of my life has begun, and already I can feel the weight of this crown I wear,” King Henry tells Fallstaff, who pledges his commitment to fight. “I’ve been forced to on the counsel of men whose loyalty I question every waking moment. I need men around me I can trust.”
Produced by Michôd, Edgerton, Michôd’s Animal Kingdom producer Liz Watts, and Brad Pitt, Jeremy Kleiner, and Dede Gardner (the Oscar-winning trio behind films like 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight), The King also features music by Oscar-nominated composer Nicholas Britell, and was shot by Emmy-winning cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Macbeth).
“Before Joel Edgerton and I embarked on a retelling of the story of Henry V, I never thought I’d find myself one day making a medieval movie. Swords and horses were never my thing. But, the more we talked and the deeper I researched, the more excited I was by the idea of rendering the Middle Ages — its dirt, its brutality, its precariousness of life and death, its sheer other-worldliness — in a way that felt raw and human,” reads Michôd’s director’s statement. “I wanted the kind of medieval movie I might make—one devoid of the nationalist bombast normally associated with the story of Henry V and one that might illuminate the ways in which war can emerge from the swamp of power and paranoia, greed and hubris, fear and family.”
The film is set to screen at the awards-positioning 2019 Venice Film Festival next month, followed by a select theatrical run and subsequent debut on Netflix in the fall, though an exact date has yet to be announced. Until then, watch The King‘s first trailer above.