Netflix is showing no signs of slowing down its rollout of new content, and its upcoming fantasy series Cursed takes on the myth of Excalibur. But King Arthur isn’t at the heart of this story — the show instead explores the origins of the legendary Lady of the Lake.
You’re probably familiar with the legend of Excalibur: royal sorcerer Merlin uses magic to seal a powerful sword in a stone, and Arthur, the secret son of the king, proves his worth as the heir to the throne by pulling it out. The magical sword is damaged in a battle with the knight Lancelot, but the mysterious Lady of the Lake restores it to its former glory, resulting in Arthur becoming the king of Camelot.
The lore surrounding Camelot and Arthur’s tenure as ruler of the magical realm have been retold and reimagined in many ways; popular versions of the legend include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and The Green Knight (2020). The story of the Lady of the Lake remains largely untold in popular culture, but Netflix is bringing the enigmatic character center stage with Cursed.
Katherine Langford, Daniel Sharman, Devon Terrell, and Gustaf Skarsgård star in #Cursed, a new series that reimagines the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of a young woman who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake — FIRST LOOK: pic.twitter.com/sUqxkkZ2eZ— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) May 7, 2020
Starring Katherine Langford (Knives Out), Cursed follows the journey of Nimue, the young woman who will eventually become the Lady of the Lake. Nimue's story is one of magic, action, and intrigue — just look at that Games of Thrones-esque fire in the teaser! — but more importantly, it finally makes women the center of a fantasy world that has been dominated by male narratives.
"One of the things about the Arthurian legend is that there are very, very few female characters, and if there are female characters, there's no narrative about them," Langford told Refinery29 of her upcoming role in the Netflix series. "It's really the first retelling of Arthurian legend through the eyes of a woman and it was something that I finished reading and I just literally flipped out and went, Fuck, this is really good."
"It's telling a story of a true heroine that is capable and strong and not just altering a story because she's a woman," she continued. "[It's] something I wish I'd had growing up."
The streaming giant has yet to share a full trailer for the series, but fans won't have to wait too long to see how Nimue's story fits into the legend of Camelot. Cursed premieres on Netflix sometime this summer.