Netflix passed on sequel to iconic Heath Ledger movie
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Netflix News

Netflix passed on sequel to iconic Heath Ledger movie

It transpires that Netflix briefly courted the sequel to one of the late Heath Ledger’s most lauded movies before its algorithm stepped in and ultimately told it that it wouldn’t work out. It’s a shame, as the idea for the plot would have been one that seamlessly dealt with the iconic actor’s death and was fit for the contemporary era. 

It has been revealed by Brian Helgeland, the creator, director and co-producer of 2001’s A Knight’s Talethat he was serious about bringing the medieval action comedy back. In the movie, Ledger played protagonist William Thatcher, a peasant squire posing as a knight in tournaments, with the supporting cast including Rufus Sewell, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon, James Purefoy and Laura Fraser. Tragically, the Australian leading man passed away in January 2008 from an accidental overdose on prescription drugs. 

In a new interview with InverseHelgeland disclosed that a sequel to A Knight’s Tale was shopped to Sony and later Netflix, and despite both seeing different concepts, they each turned it down.

“When we finished ‘A Knight’s Tale,’ we were already thinking about making the sequel as a pirate film,” Helgeland, who also directed L.A. Confidential, said. “The plot revolved around Count Adhemar kidnapping Jocelyn and taking her to Constantinople. They end up as galley slaves after their boat is captured by pirates. There’s a prisoner on the boat who has a treasure map tattooed on his back, but he keeps getting flogged for indiscipline. The guys volunteer to take turns getting flogged in this prisoner’s place, so the map isn’t erased. Sony didn’t want to do it.”

The other idea for the plot came from Bettany and Tudyk. Helgeland revealed that it centred around Thatcher’s offspring after he had died in a war. Bettany called the director after having dinner with Tudyk and suggested that the story follow Thatcher’s teenage daughter who wants to joust but isn’t allowed to because of her gender. However, she tracks down the gang from the first film, and they agree to teach her, but she must hide who she is. He said: “They cut her hair short and she speaks with a deep voice, et cetera.”

Helgeland added: “I pitched it to Sony because they own the rights, and it seemed like they were interested in making it with Netflix, releasing it as a Netflix movie. My understanding is that Netflix tested this sequel idea through their algorithms, which indicated that it would not be successful.”

Watch the trailer for A Knight’s Tale below.