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Bryan Singer eyes 'Excalibur' remake

Warner Bros. securing rights to the 1981 film

Warner Bros. and Bryan Singer are unsheathing "Excalibur," redoing the 1981 John Boorman movie about King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable.

The project is still in the early stages, with Warners only tying up the remake rights, which it shares with Boorman. Singer's involvement is still in the talking stage and Legendary Pictures may come aboard the project.

If deals are made, Singer would produce with Julie Yorn. Former Warner exec Polly Johnsen (formerly Cohen) would also produce.

Matt Reilly is overseeing for Warners while Erik Olsen, who instigated the project by contacting Boorman, shepherds for the Yorn company.

Alex Garcia, an executive at Legendary and Singer's former partner at Bad Hat, was instrumental in bringing in Singer. If Legendary comes aboard, Garcia would oversee.

The 1981 movie starred Nigel Terry as Arthur and Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere and featured early performances from Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart and Gabriel Byrne. The movie told the well-known myth, in a gritty and dramatic fashion, of the young man who draws the sword Excalibur from a stone, is mentored by Merlin, establishes Camelot, loses his wife, Guenevere, to his best friend, Lancelot, and engages in the quest for the Holy Grail.

Singer's "Excalibur" will be a more epic and fantasy version compared with the more earthy Clive Owen-starring "King Arthur" movie released by Disney/Touchstone in 2004.

"Excalibur" is not Singer's next movie. The candidate for that is shaping up to be "Jack the Giant Killer," New Line's action fantasy about a young farmer who leads a rescue mission to the kingdom of giants when a princess is kidnapped. No offer has been made, though Singer has taken meetings.

The director, repped by WME, is coming out of hibernation, and "Excalibur" joins Universal's big-screen version of "Battlestar Galactica" as one of his projects in development.