Even though reimaginings of Arthurian legends almost always centrally focus on a lake of some sort, Netflix’s new trailer for its adaptation of Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler’s Cursed demonstrates that these stories are still very much seen as an endless well for action-packed stories about war, magic, and revolution.
Cursed’s first trailer says more about the series’ story through optics rather than by way of Nimue’s (Katherine Langford) melodramatic voice over about how the King Uther’s Red Paladins slaughtered her people in their vicious quest to steal the source of their druid-like magical powers. At the centre of the epic conflict between the Paladins and the druids stands Excalibur, the sword-shaped MacGuffin that Nimue and her newfound ally Arthur (Devon Terrell) are desperate to deliver to the wizard Merlin (Gustaf Skarsgård), in hopes that doing so will lead to the end of the fighting.
Nimue knows that beyond Excalibur’s own magical properties (it glows a bit whenever someone worthy of it picks it up to wield in battle), the larger role it’s to play in the fate of the world is ultimately to identify the one true monarch capable of ushering in a new age of balance. But of course, because this isn’t just another rehashing of Arthur’s journey to the throne, it’s Nimue, and not him that Excalibur seems to be intent on choosing, meaning that her life’s likely in more danger than any myth ever could have prepared her for.
Cursed also stars Peter Mullan, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Daniel Sharman, and Sebastian Armesto. The series hits Netflix on July 17.