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The King's Daughter - What We Know So Far

If you're a fan of elaborate costume design, historical fantasy (specifically, French historical fantasy), or you're just really into mermaids, then prepare to be intrigued by Gravitas Ventures' "The King's Daughter." In October, Deadline shared an exclusive update that "The King's Daughter," notably shot on-location at the Palace of Versailles, has finally received a release date after a long and tumultuous struggle to be seen.

In May 2020, Film Stories shared that, although the film was shot in 2014 and "penciled in for an April 2015" premiere, Paramount shelved it instead. Film Stories also notes Vonda N. McIntyre, the author of the film's source material, originally penned the story as a screenplay nearly thirty years ago. Although she met with some producers, including Steven Spielberg, she reconsidered turning the story into a movie because she worried it would be too expensive to bring to the big screen. Now, at long last, audiences will see McIntyre's vision brought to life, complete with a glittering cast and an adapted screenplay written by Barry Berman and James Schamus.

Here's what we know about the release date, cast, and plot of "The King's Daughter."

What is the release date of The King's Daughter?

Deadline's October report states "The King's Daughter," helmed by "Chesapeake Shores" episode director Sean McNamara (via IMDb), will premiere at more than 1,000 theaters in North America on January 21, 2022. This will pit the film against other major 2022 releases, such as Sony Pictures' "Morbius" and Paramount Pictures' "Scream" reboot. Nonetheless, given its unique subject matter, "The King's Daughter" will likely be positioned as a family-friendly film, which, in addition to its immense star power, makes it unlikely to be left wanting for an audience.

The news outlet quotes Gravitas Ventures founder and CEO Nolan Gallagher, who states, "Gravitas is proud to bring the magical world of 'The King's Daughter' to theaters and homes across North America," and went on to call the feature "an impressively created film and moving story that families can enjoy together." Right down to its casting, there is certainly a range of demographics for whom the film will appeal, an element that can only add to its success with audiences

Who is in the cast of The King's Daughter?

"There is only one Julie Andrews," Sean McNamara said in the Deadline exclusive, "and she has blessed audiences around the globe with her lovely voice and amazing storytelling. Please join her as she narrates our story." 

That's right, folks: "The King's Daughter" boasts international treasure Julie Andrews as its narrator. In addition to the "Mary Poppins" alum, the upcoming France-set fantasy sees former James Bond franchise star Pierce Brosnan take on the role of French history's most lavish and longest-reining monarch, Louis XIV. Bingbing Fan — of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" fame — plays the role of a magical mermaid. Additionally, "Maze Runner" alum Kaya Scodelario plays the titular role of illegitimate daughter Marie-Josephe, and William Hurt adds even more star power to the cast as Père La Chaise, Louis XIV's confessor, per Film Stories.

Finally, according to Kirkus Reviews, "Jessica Jones" star Benjamin Walker plays priest and philosopher Yves De La Croix. Rounding out the cast, according to the movie's IMDb profile, is Rachel Griffiths, Pablo Schreiber, and Ben Lloyd-Hughes.

What is the plot of The King's Daughter?

"The King's Daughter" is based on Vonda N. McIntyre's 1997 historical fantasy novel "The Moon and Sun" (via Goodreads), which beat out George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones" to take home the coveted Nebula Award in 1998 (via Yahoo). Deadline reports that, as in the novel, the narrative revolves around King Louis XIV's obsession to obtain immortality — an obsession that leads him to hold captive a mermaid with whom his illegitimate daughter, Marie-Josephe, forms a controversial bond.

Film Stories shared a trailer for "The King's Daughter" in their May 2020 update on the movie. The trailer suggests the film will also focus heavily on Marie-Josephe's inability to assimilate into the decadent and treacherous social battlefield that was the court of Louis XIV at the Palace of Versailles, foregrounding the feelings of entrapment and displacement she shares with the mermaid. It seems there will be more than a little critical commentary on the Sun King, the universe that literally and metaphorically revolved around him, and the status and treatment of, as well as the attitudes towards, women in 17th- and 18th-century France.