While it may not have been a mega-hit when it came out, 2001's A Knight's Tale has since become a beloved cult hit. To celebrate the film's 20th anniversary (yes, you really are that old), director Brian Helgeland recently spoke to Variety to offer fans some behind-the-scenes tidbits about filming. Helgeland explained that Paul Walker was also up for Heath Ledger's role but was "too American" and Daniel Craig screen-tested for the villainous Count Adhemar, the role that would ultimately go to Rufus Sewell.
According to Helgeland, the cast of up and comers all lived together in Prague during filming and became really close over the shoot. "Heath used to say that he loved the movie, because he thought it was a photo album of how much fun they had doing it," Helgeland explained. "That charm between that group was because it was real, they really did love each other. For years afterward, whenever they were in the same city someplace, they’d get together. Or I’d get a call from Heath out of the blue and he’d say, 'Alan and Rufus are here, let’s go out to eat!' Heath was always so happy when we were together."
Helgeland also opened up about the past idea that he had about a sequel, a sad thing to ponder considering Ledger's tragic death in 2008. "Well, we always wanted to do one, but no one at Sony ever really broached it or talked about it," he admitted. "Alan and I had this idea because Wat was talking about buying a ship with his prize money. So we’d open the film and you’d see the group on a boat but pull back and reveal they were galley slaves. Then it’s kind of a pirate movie – Ademar kidnaps Jocelyn and takes her to Constantinople and they go to rescue her. But we just couldn’t get any interest."
"Subsequently, Paul [Bettany] pitched me an idea just six months ago which was that William and Jocelyn have a daughter and she wants to get into jousting but obviously can’t take her mask off," Helgeland continued. "Kind of like him at the beginning of the movie. So you follow this woman who’s 18 or 20 years old as she seeks out his friends for help. I mean, I think it would be great." Even if the story is never revisited, Helgeland has only wonderful things to say about the experience of making A Knight's Tale. "I’ve had plenty of good experiences, but nothing like nothing like that, with medieval towns being built and horses being brought in and jousting," he concluded. "It was unreal. It was unrepeatable."