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Exclusive: Sylvain White on tackling King Arthur, Frank Miller’s ‘Ronin’

Sylvain White, director of the new comic book adaptation The Losers, told Hollywood News that had a number of projects coming up, but has yet to decide what will happen next. “I literally just finished The Losers two weeks ago, so I’ve just started going back into seeing what’s next,” White said in an exclusive telephone interview. “I have a project called Ronin with Warner Brothers which I put on hold while I was doing The Losers and now I’m going to sort of dive back into it. I’m also developing a King Arthur origin story at Fox. I’m doing a remake of a French film from the ‘80s that I love, and it’s called Le Magnifique. But I’m also looking at a projects that are ready to go right now, open directing assignments, and I’m going to see what’s out there and what’s possible. But I haven’t really fully immersed myself into seeing what’s next.”

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Check back tomorrow for Hollywood News’ full-length, exclusive interview with White, in which he discusses the challenges and demands of adapting The Losers. In the meantime, check out White’s comments about his King Arthur film, and about tackling Ronin – not to mention it formidable creator, Frank Miller – as he debates which film he’ll take the helm of next.

Fox mounted a King Arthur film a few years ago which was not particularly well-received. Do you feel emboldened by the fact that this story hasn’t been told maybe the right way, even in the way that Gore Verbinski came into Pirates of the Caribbean with pirate films with no expectations, or does that put more pressure on you?

Sylvain White: That’s actually kind of an interesting comparison. I hadn’t thought about that, but the cool thing is that it’s an origin story and it’s reinvented and it’s kind of told like a fairy tale, so it’s not like the sort of historically-accurate King Arthur incarnations that we’ve seen in the past that are very serious in tone and with the authentic armor and everything. This is sort of an off-reality feel, but it still has all of the sort of classic elements of the mythology and it’s very cool, it’s very fun, and that’s what made it fresh and different for me. Because we’ve all seen 50 King Arthur stories and there’s even a TV series right now, but there’s nothing really new about it. I felt like this feels like a fun action tome, and there was the opportunity to do something new with it. But we’ll see how it is; right now we’re just working on the screenplay and seeing if we can make it happen.

In terms of Ronin, Frank Miller’s material has been adapted with mixed success as well. Is that a project where given the fact that Miller has collaborated with many of the filmmakers who adapted his work, you feel compelled or want to work with him, or is the way it’s being developed preclude the necessity to have him involved?

White: I’ve had some interaction initially with him, and to me what’s important, because particularly what that source material needs is a certain level of adaptation because it’s so esoteric and intellectual. It’s source material that to make sort of a entertaining movie out of it, you need to make some decision on the adaptation, but at the same time, you want to stay true to what the comic is really about. So what I really seek from him is his approval; I want him to endorse what I’m going to do with his film, and certainly so far it’s been good. I’m not the kind of guy who wants to run and say, screw it – I’m just going to do what I want to do. I feel like he’s the original author, and there’s some respect that needs to be there, and I certainly would want him to approve of the movie I’m making.


About Todd Gilchrist

Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based film critic and entertainment journalist. Over the past decade he worked at a variety of online and print publications, including the Miami New Times,, SCI FI Wire, and, where he wrote reviews, conducted interviews with actors and filmmakers, and edited Movies, DVD and Music content. He currently works for among other outlets, and has been a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association since 2005.

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One Comment

  • April 22, 2010 | Permalink |

    This was a great interview. I am looking forward to seeing “The Losers” after all this hype. Hopefully this movie puts him on the map

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