The King (2019 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The King
The King poster.jpeg
Official poster
Directed byDavid Michôd
Produced by
Written by
  • David Michôd
  • Joel Edgerton
Based onHenry IV, Part 1,
Henry IV, Part 2
and Henry V
by William Shakespeare
Music byNicholas Britell[1]
CinematographyAdam Arkapaw
Edited byPeter Sciberras
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • 2 September 2019 (2019-09-02) (Venice)
  • 11 October 2019 (2019-10-11) (United States)
Running time
140 minutes[2]
  • Australia
  • United States
Box office~$10,000[3]

The King is a 2019 historical drama film based on several plays from William Shakespeare's "Henriad" (Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, and Henry V.). It is directed by David Michôd, written by Michôd and Joel Edgerton, and stars Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Robert Pattinson, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The film is not intended to be historically accurate, but is instead based on William Shakespeare's "Henriad" series of plays (Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V), which themselves took considerable liberties with history.[4][5][6]

It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2019 and was released on 11 October 2019 in selected theatres before being put up for digital streaming on 1 November 2019 by Netflix.


Henry Prince of Wales (called "Hal" by his close friends) is the emotionally distant eldest and wastrel son of King Henry IV of England. Hal is uninterested in his father's war policies and in succeeding him, and spends his days drinking, whoring, and jesting with his companion John Falstaff in Eastcheap. His father summons Hal and informs him that Hal's younger brother, Thomas, will inherit the throne instead of Hal. Thomas is sent to subdue Hotspur's rebellion but is upstaged by the arrival of Hal, who engages Hotspur in single combat. The sword fight descends into an armoured fistfight, and Hal kills Hotspur with a dagger. Although this decides the battle without further conflict, Thomas complains that Hal has stolen all the glory. Not long afterward, Thomas dies in a battle in Wales.

Henry IV dies in his bed with Hal present, and Hal is crowned King Henry V. Hal is determined not to be like his father, and opts for peace and conciliation with his father's adversaries, despite his actions being seen as weakness. Meanwhile, the Dauphin of France sends Hal a ball, as an insulting and emasculating coronation gift; however, Hal chooses to frame this as a positive reflection of his boyhood before being crowned.

Hal takes a walk with his young sister Philippa, now the Queen of Denmark, in a green field below his castle. Philippa asks about his well-being, and Hal shares that he wants to bring an end to the unrest in the kingdom. Philippa replies that she could feel the calm he desires at the coronation celebration dinner the previous evening. She adds that she, too believes the nobles wish him well in his vision of peace, but cautions that nobles in any royal court have their own interests in mind and will never reveal their full truths.

Hal interrogates, in French, a captured assassin who claims to have been sent by King Charles VI of France to assassinate Hal. The English nobles Cambridge and Grey are approached by French agents, hoping to induce them to the French cause. Their trust in the new young king wavers, and they then approach Hal's Chief Justice, William Gascoigne, with their concerns. William advises the young king that a show of strength is necessary to unite England, so to prove his competency, Hal declares war on France and has Cambridge and Grey beheaded.

The English army sets sail for France, with Hal at the forefront and Falstaff as his captain. After successfully taking Harfleur, they continue on the campaign but are followed by the Dauphin, who repeatedly tries to provoke Hal. The English advance parties stumble upon a huge French army gathering to face them. Dorset advises Hal to retreat, due to the superiority of the French forces, but Falstaff proposes a false advance to lure the French to rush forward into the mud, where they will be weighed down by their heavy armor and horses. They will then be attacked by the English longbowmen and surrounded by a large flanking force hidden in the nearby woods.

Hal goes to the Dauphin and offers to fight in single combat to decide the outcome of the battle, but the Dauphin refuses. The Battle of Agincourt commences, with Hal in the thick of the fighting. Falstaff's plan works, and the outnumbered English army overpowers the French, although Falstaff is killed on the front lines. The Dauphin enters the fray to challenge Hal, but is humiliated and easily defeated.

Following the decisive victory, the English continue deeper into France. Hal reaches King Charles VI, who offers his surrender and the hand of his daughter Catherine. Hal returns to England with his new wife for the celebrations. He comes to her room to have a conversation, and it quickly turns into a frank one that shows her strength of character and causes him to question his military decisions, because she challenges Hal's reasons for invading France.

Hal realizes that the supposed French insult and acts of aggression against England were staged and caused by his chief Justice Gascoigne to goad Hal into war. Hal confronts Gascoigne and, upon confirming his suspicions, proceeds to fatally stab him. Hal then returns to Catherine, asks her to always speak the truth to him, and takes both her hands in his. Meanwhile, outside the palace, people cheer "King Henry, King Henry" to celebrate his victory over the French.



Filming on location at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, UK.

In 2013, it was revealed that Joel Edgerton and David Michôd had collaborated on writing an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henriad" plays, Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V, for Warner Bros. Pictures.[7][8][9] In September 2015, it was announced that Michôd would direct the project, with Warner Bros. producing and distributing the film, and Lava Bear producing.[10]

In February 2018, Timothée Chalamet joined the cast, with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner producing, alongside Liz Watts, under their Plan B Entertainment banner. Ultimately, Netflix distributed the film instead of Warner Bros.[11] In March 2018, Edgerton joined the cast of the film.[12] In May 2018, Robert Pattinson, Ben Mendelsohn, Sean Harris, Lily-Rose Depp, Tom Glynn-Carney, and Thomasin McKenzie joined the cast; Dean-Charles Chapman joined in June.[13][14]

Principal photography began on 1 June 2018 and wrapped on 24 August.[13][15]

Filming locations[edit]

Filming took place throughout England and Szilvásvárad, Hungary.[16][17] Many scenes were filmed on location at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England.[18] Lincoln Cathedral was used in place of Westminster Abbey for the coronation scenes.[19]


The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2019.[20] It screened at the BFI London Film Festival on 3 October 2019,[21][22] and received a limited release on 11 October 2019 before being released on Netflix, for digital streaming, on 1 November 2019.[23]


Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 71% based on 111 reviews, with an average rating of 6.46/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "While The King is sometimes less than the sum of its impressive parts, strong source material and gripping performances make this a period drama worth hailing."[24] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 61 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25]


Award Date of ceremony Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
AACTA Awards 4 December 2019 Best Film Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Liz Watts, David Michôd, Joel Edgerton Pending [26]
Best Direction David Michôd Pending
Best Actor Timothée Chalamet Pending
Best Supporting Actor Joel Edgerton Pending
Ben Mendelsohn Pending
Best Cinematography Adam Arkapaw Pending
Best Editing Peter Sciberras Pending
Best Sound Robert Mackenzie, Sam Petty, Gareth John, Leah Katz, Mario Vacarro, Tara Webb Pending
Best Production Design Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton Pending
Best Costume Design Jane Petrie Pending
Best Screenplay David Michôd, Joel Edgerton Pending
Best Hair and Makeup Alessandro Bertolazzi Pending
Best Casting Des Hamilton, Francine Maisler Pending
Hollywood Music in Media Awards 20 November 2019 Best Original Score in a Feature Film Nicholas Britell Pending [27]


  1. ^ "Nicholas Britell Scoring David Michod's 'The King'". FilmMusicReporter. 22 July 2019. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  2. ^ "The King". Venice Film Festival. 23 July 2019. Archived from the original on 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  3. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (13 October 2017). "Record-Breaking 'Parasite' Scores the Best Platform Opening Since 'La La Land'". IndieWire. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  4. ^ Crabtree, Isabel (9 November 2019). "The King Might Not Be Totally Historically Accurate, But Timotheé Chalamet's Bowl Cut Sure As Hell Is". Esquire. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  5. ^ Bunyan, Michael (25 October 2019). "The True Story Behind the Netflix Movie The King". Time. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  6. ^ Nelson, Alex (11 November 2019). "Is The King a true story? How accurately Henry V and Agincourt are portrayed in the Netflix drama and Shakespeare plays". inews. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. ^ Davies, Luke (June 2013). "Joel Edgerton after Gatsby". The Monthly. Archived from the original on 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018. With David Michôd he has written King, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts I & II, and Henry V, for Warner Bros.
  8. ^ Wood, Stephanie (26 July 2014). "Australian actor Joel Edgerton hits the Hollywood big time". Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  9. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (3 September 2016). "Joel Edgerton Talks 'Game Of Thrones' Meets Shakespeare Project With David Michôd, 'Jane Got A Gun,' And More". Archived from the original on 26 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  10. ^ McClintock, Pamela (3 September 2015). "Former Universal Chairman David Linde on TIFF Bet, What He Misses About Running a Big Studio". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 18 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  11. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (8 February 2018). "Timothee Chalamet To Play King Henry V In David Michôd Netflix Film 'The King". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  12. ^ Vlessing, Etan (22 March 2018). "Joel Edgerton Joins Timothee Chalamet in Netflix Drama 'The King'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  13. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (31 May 2018). "Robert Pattinson, Lily-Rose Depp, Among Cast Joining Timothée Chalamet In Netflix Pic 'The King', Cameras Roll This Week". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 1 June 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  14. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (1 June 2018). "'Game Of Thrones' Star Dean-Charles Chapman Joins Netflix Pic 'The King'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Day 58, #thatsawrap !". 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  16. ^ Vierney, Joseph (15 May 2018). "Lincoln casting call for period film". The Lincolnite. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  17. ^ Goundry, Nick (3 May 2018). "Timothée Chalamet to film Henry V movie in Hungary". KFTV. Archived from the original on 8 June 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  18. ^ Horton, Kim (8 June 2018). "Netflix movie produced by Brad Pitt filming in Gloucestershire". gloucestershirelive. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  19. ^ Verney, Joseph (1 November 2019). "The King released on Netflix featuring Lincoln's historic sights". thelincolnite. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  20. ^ Anderson, Ariston (25 July 2019). "Venice Film Festival Unveils Lineup (Updating Live)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 25 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  21. ^ Mitchell, Robert (29 August 2019). "'Jojo Rabbit,' 'The Aeronauts,' Netflix Titles Feature in London Film Festival Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  22. ^ "The King". BFI London Film Festival. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  23. ^ McClintock, Pamela (27 August 2019). "Netflix Dates 'Marriage Story,' 'Laundromat' and Other Fall Award Films". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  24. ^ "The King (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  25. ^ "The King (2019) Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  26. ^ "Winners & Nominees".
  27. ^ Harris, LaTesha; Harris, LaTesha (5 November 2019). "'Joker,' 'Lion King,' 'Us' Lead 2019 Hollywood Music in Media Awards Nominees". Variety. Retrieved 7 November 2019.

External links[edit]