Netflix Arthurian Fantasy Drama 'Cursed' to Premiere in July

Katherine Langford in "Cursed" Photo: Netflix

Netflix fantasy drama Cursed, a female-focused retelling of the King Arthur legend from the perspective of the Lady of the Lake, will officially premiere this July.

An adaptation of a YA graphic novel from author Tom Wheeler and illustrated by Frank Miller, the series will aim to tell the story of Nimue, the magical sorceress who gives Arthur the sword that changes his life in many versions of the legend. (And who infrequently has little in the way of a voice of her own.)

Here, however, she’s just a young woman attempting to figure out who she is even as she attempts to fulfill a dangerous quest.

Katherine Langford, the breakout star from Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why, plays Nimue, who in many versions of the Arthurian tale is another name for the famous Lady of the Lake. But that's a fate that’s still a far distance in her future here. As the series begins, she's grieving the death of her mother as the threat from King Uther's Red Paladins grows, and she'll team up with a young Arthur on a search for the famed wizard Merlin, in the hopes of delivering him an important and ancient sword.

Whether or not Nimue will ultimately fulfill the destiny that belongs to her in so many of the Arthurian legends here isn’t exactly clear. It’s not exactly like there’s a firm canon regarding the Lady of the Lake, in general – there are several of them in Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur alone. Many of the legends aren’t even super clear what her name is, and the character is referred to as not just Nimue, but Niniane and Vivian at various points as well. What I’m saying is, Cursed has plenty of room to maneuver on this point.

Even if the series’ title doesn’t exactly lend itself to thoughts of a happy ending for anyone.

The trailer, however, is full of the sort of iconic imagery and dramatic slow-motion effects that suggest that even if Nimue’s end must necessarily be a tragic one, her journey is powerful enough to change the world.

This clip is sadly quite brief, but it does offer a couple of quick views of Langford’s co-stars Gustaf Skarsgard, Devon Terrell, and Daniel Sharman, who play Merlin, Arthur and a mysterious figure known as The Weeping Monk, respectively.  

All episodes of Cursed will drop on Netflix on Friday, July 17.

Will you be giving this Arthurian retelling a look? Let’s discuss in the comments.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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