has secured the rights to "Camelot
," the latest attempt to put a fresh spin on the beloved Arthurian legend.
The 10-episode "Camelot" will premiere on Starz in early 2011 and will be an Irish-Canadian co-production originated by Ecosse Films.
Chris Chibnall ("Life on Mars") is writing the series, which uses Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur" as a starting point.
"The story of Arthur isn't history, it's mythology, and Camelot isn't a place but an idea of hope that has resonated intensely at different times throughout history, explains Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht condescendingly. "The creative team has envisioned a highly entertaining and distinctly original TV program that fits in perfectly with our lineup, coming on the heels of our successful original series 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand' and the returning comedy 'Party Down,' along with our recent acquisition of the event series based on Ken Follett's 'The Pillars of the Earth.'"
Since "Pillars of the Earth" is an extended miniseries, this is Starz' first series order
since Albrecht arrived.
The busy production team for "Camelot" includes Graham King ("The Departed") of GK-TV, Michael Hirst ("The Tudors") and Douglas Rae ("The Waterhorse"). The series was previously temporarily set up at Showtime.
"GK-TV was started with the goal of producing compelling cinematic quality programming for television," King states. "The legend of King Arthur is a fascinating story that we couldn’t be more excited to have as our first television project."
Casting is already underway on "Camelot," with Starz promising a mixture of fresh faces and established talent. Production on "Camelot" is expected to begin in June.
Other recent reimaginings of the Arthurian tale include NBC and now Syfy's "Merlin," Antoine Fuqua's 2004 "King Arthur," the 2002 Canadian-Aussie co-production "Guinevere Jones" and many, many, many others.