James Hibbard of The Hollywood Reporter reports that the cast to Starz’s CAMELOT has been rounded out by Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green, playing Merlin and Morgana respectively. Fiennes most recently starred in FLASH FORWARD on ABC, and Green has been a fan favorite whose name has been bandied about more than once for possible roles in GAME OF THRONES. They join Tamsin Egerton and GoT’s own Jamie Campbell Bower in the newest retelling of the trials and tribulations of King Arthur’s court.
The article can be read in its entirety here, but this part is telling:
“Camelot” is an international co-production between Irish company Octagon and Canadian outfit Take 5 and developed in association with the U.K.’s Ecosse Films.
Production starts this month on 10 episodes for the series, which will debut on Starz early next year.
Fire And Blood: The gauntlet has been thrown, it seems. The Starz network is thrusting CAMELOT right into the path of the speeding train that is GAME OF THRONES, countering our ten-episode sword-and-sorcery epic with one of their own, releasing it at what appears to be the exact same time — and doing so with much greater product name recognition.
But by my estimation this appears to be a rush job; they never bothered to shoot a pilot before greenlighting the show, and there doesn’t seem to be an entry for this version of CAMELOT on IMDB as of this article. I’d bet my house GAME OF THRONES will be the better show, Eva Green aside.
That said, CAMELOT could still do some damage as far as the market goes; the casual fan may decide two S&S epics equal one too many, and may opt for the more familiar name. Starz isn’t anywhere in HBO’s league as far as its track record goes (and don’t even try to compare subscription numbers), but … this could still be saturation, and could hurt THRONES’ overall numbers.
Or, it could just be really cool, and we’ll all be getting our geek on with multiple shows come this time next year. What do you think?