Ritchie: "I'm having breakfast in bed, and I pull back the duvet on the other side. Thought we could have a beautiful morning together."
Hunnam: "Break a girl's heart, why don't you?"
Friends help you question yourself, says the director. Which is why he'll trust his actors' instincts on lines they hate and rewrite his script on set. "Sometimes, I go, 'This ain't going to work,.' There was a romance in this film. The Mage and Arthur. But the film just didn't want it. We tried to nudge it, we tried to nudge it, and then the film just went, 'Can we do something else?'"
The "combat" starts when Ritchie starts questioning the reality of his movies. He says the most painful, consuming part of King Arthur was the music. "[Composer Daniel Pemberton and I] worked on it for three years. Just the music." The soundtrack bridges medieval tones and contemporary riffs in a rambunctious fashion that Ritchie calls the "simple" solution. Ritchie started his career as an Island Records talent scout ("I didn't find anyone"), and his movies often hinge, in his mind, on finding a keystone track. In King Arthur, it was British folk singer Sam Lee, whose music is heavily influenced by Romany migrants he once traveled with. Those songs, that lore, stoked another one of Ritchie's passions.