Netflix Killed Sequel To Heath Ledger Fan-Favorite Movie

By Jason Collins | Published

a knight's tale

Twenty-three years have passed since the movie director Brian Helgeland gave us A Knight’s Tale, starring late actor Heath Ledger, and the director has been thinking about the ways the movie could have continued. However, it would seem that Netflix wasn’t too keen on the idea simply because its algorithm assessed that the sequel wouldn’t be a match for the majority of its audiences.

A Sequel No One Wanted

a knight's tale

During his interview about the 20th anniversary of Denzel Washington’s Man on Fire, movie director Brian Helgeland also mentioned A Knight’s Tale and provided an explanation as to why that particular cinematic piece never got a sequel it rightfully deserved. Namely, after the first movie was completed, the director approached Sony and Netflix, and it was Netflix who made the decision to pass based on algorithmic data.

The Original

a knight's tale

For those who aren’t familiar with the original A Knight’s Tale, the movie is a medieval action comedy that follows Heath Ledger’s William Thatcher, a peasant squire who poses as a knight and strives to achieve glory in jousting competitions. It was somewhat successful at the box office, but the audiences loved the movie, and A Knight’s Tale managed to gather quite a passionate following thanks to Heath Ledger’s fantastic performance. Sadly, the charismatic actor tragically passed away in 2008.

The First Sequel Idea

The sequel to A Knight’s Tale went through several different iterations before it was pitched to different companies. In one version, the plot revolves around Count Adhemar kidnapping Jocelyn and taking her to Constantinople. However, they would end up as galley slaves after being captured by pirates, and they would meet the prisoner who had a treasure map tattooed on his back. The movie was first offered to Sony, but the entertainment giant wasn’t really interested in that particular movie.

The Second Idea Got Farther, But Not Far Enough

Another idea was pitched to Brian Helgeland by Paul Bettany and Alan Tudyk—both of whom starred in the original movie. Their idea was that William had passed away during a war, and now his teenage daughter wanted to joust, but she was not allowed on account of being a woman. She then tracks down the gang who would teach her how to joust, and on top of hiding her identity, she disguises herself as a man.

The second idea for A Knight’s Tale was pitched to Sony once again since they owned the rights to the movie. This time, the studio seemed to be interested in making this new version in collaboration with Netflix.

However, Netflix apparently tested the idea against its algorithm and decided to pass. This is rather strange, especially since A Knight’s Tale has grown in popularity ever since it was released, and we’ve since got plenty of movies with empowered female characters who are pretty popular as is.

Success Wouldn’t Be Guaranteed

We also have to wonder just how successful the sequel to A Knight’s Tale would be. Apparently, Ledger’s character dies in between movies, and considering just how crucial he was in the film’s success, it’s really hard to imagine the sequel living up to the original.

Source: Inverse