The A Knight’s Tale TV Show Is Offensive, And Not Just To Heath Ledger’s Memory

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A Knight's Tale TV show Heath Ledger William joust Paul Bettany Golden Years videoMost of the senseless movie and TV remakes don't personally offend me, but I find myself pretty upset over the news that ABC is developing a TV show based on the 2001 movie A Knight's Tale. I don't care if Battlestar Galactica‘s Ron Moore is writing it! Yes, he did an incredible job of reimagining a failed sci-fi series in a modern-day context… but I can't imagine what new stories he thinks he could tell with this movie. If you're a Crushable reader, I imagine you've seen this medieval drama — which I might also classify as a comedy considering all the damn funny quotes — with a charmingly anachronistic soundtrack and starring Heath Ledger in one of his first roles.

There, of course, is the first disturbing aspect of this. Heath made this movie around the same time as 10 Things I Hate About You and The Patriot, and it was this three-pronged approach that formally introduced him to American audiences as the cute Australian heartthrob. So it does feel weird to see someone else playing William Thatcher, the peasant who “changes his stars” to become a knight. Consider the controversy after Heath died and everyone agreed that no one could replace him as the Joker. Why isn't that outrage present here?

But it's not just to honor Heath's memory that I don't want to see this show happen. Let's look at the other reasons:

1. In addition to Heath, this movie launched the careers of Paul Bettany and Alan Tudyk. The TV show would likely cast unknowns, but I just can't imagine anyone doing a better job with this motley crew. Not to mention Rufus Sewell as the villain Count Adhemar. (I saw him in-person at a press day a few months ago and still shuddered a little because he was that good.)

2. When it comes to matching rock music to medieval intrigue, you can't get any better than the banquet dance scene set to David Bowie‘s “Golden Years.”

3. To that end, same goes for Chaucer's hyperbolic, hilarious, heartfelt introductions. They start out ridiculous but get increasingly meaningful and anchor the final joust. Really, I can't imagine stretching that two-hour arc into a 24-episode season.

4. Vulture points out that the impetus for this probably comes from the success of sword-heavy shows like Game of Thrones and Once Upon a Time. So why can't the writers just pitch an entirely original series?

5. ABC Family already attempted to make a carbon copy of 10 Things and failed miserably. So that should be an omen to ABC that Heath's projects are untouchable.

Photo: Columbia Pictures