The King’s Daughter Preview

Patrick’s beautiful mind has created a most beautiful simulation. Kyle and Jamie meet in billions of different ways. Some are hilarious, others somber dramas of loss and ennui. In one, Jamie has been turned into a rabbit. At one point, Patrick is brought to tears as he witnesses Jamie live a full life of love, dying in the arms of his beloved on his 101st birthday. Through his tears he witnesses over and over again the solution to their problem. He scribbles down a full list of instructions for Kyle. He presses the piece of paper into his tiny hand and tells him everything he needs to know and bids him adieu. With that he sits down with the pile of scripts waiting on Stallone’s desk… he’s got all the time in the world, so he can really craft a masterpiece.

Kyle’s eyes gleam as he looks at Patrick’s kick ass Pontiac Trans Am. “He literally never stopped talking about this car. Just a giant gear head for sure,” Jamie says, shaking his head. Kyle nods. It was true. If there was one thing everyone knew about Partick it was that he was a giant gear head. “Hello, Frank,” the car says, startling Jamie. When did the car start talking? “So he’s just Frank, not Jamie?” Kyle asks anxiously. The car says nothing and Kyle turns to Jamie sadly. He picks up a bunch of pebbles and starts pelting Jamie with them. “Get out of here, you idiot,” he yells, tears streaming down his face. “You spider… you stupid head.” Jamie is scared by this turn of events. Not knowing what else to do he begins to sing Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer again and Kyle stops. He wipes his eyes. “It really is you,” he smiles.

That’s right! We are nearing the end of our 2022 journey heading into the current year cycle. They really did have all the time in the world crafting one of the more bizarre releases of the year in The King’s Daughter. Filming began in 2014 for this film and so obviously all that time created a beautiful BMT diamond for us to gaze upon. We ended up pairing this film with Spiderhead. Probably the biggest non-theatrical release of the year below 40% RT. I kinda thought it looked good. Let’s go!

The King’s Daughter (2022) – BMeTric: 34.1; Notability: 30 – BMeTric: top 9.2%; Notability: top 4.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 5.0%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Bubble, Moonfall, Firestarter, They/Them, Morbius, Me Time, Blacklight, Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, Senior Year, The Invitation, The 355, After Ever Happy, Jurassic World Dominion, Samaritan, Persuasion, and 3 more; Higher Notability: Jurassic World Dominion, Black Adam, Pinocchio, Morbius, Amsterdam, The School for Good and Evil, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto; Lower RT: Jeepers Creepers: Reborn, After Ever Happy, Me Time, Blacklight, Firestarter, Morbius, Paradise Highway, Home Team; Notes: Good stuff. Blacklight, Firestarter, and After Ever Happy are on the docket, so well start cleaning up the lower RT ones for sure. The BMeT seems to be dominated as usual by very bad streaming films. – 1.0 stars – “The King’s Daughter” has been kicking around as a potential project ever since the book on which it is based, Vonda McIntyre’s novel The Moon and the Sun, was published in 1997 (winning the Nebula over a little-known book called Game of Thrones). It’s not hard to see why this story would have so much appeal. There is a strong female central character, and the book blends together historical fact and supernatural-fantasy, using the Versailles court of Louis XIV, the “Sun King,” as backdrop. Jim Henson Pictures expressed interest in the story, as did Disney. Natalie Portman was attached at one point in the early aughts. None of it came to anything, although the property continued to change hands. The only reason this background matters is that “The King’s Daughter,” directed by Sean McNamara, released on this day in the year 2022, was actually shot in 2014, and slated for a 2015 release. To call this a “new release” is to stretch the truth into absurdity.

(This really is one of the more bizarre releases in recent memory. As they ask in the review: who is this for? For what purpose is this released to theaters? Was it just that in January 2022 there was a gap in the schedule with covid still around and so the production studio took a flier on something with almost nothing to lose? It seems that way. Maybe the rare case in which something was released widely because of the pandemic instead of in spite of it.)

Trailer –

(Nonsensical. Just disparate things edited together with a pop music soundtrack. Exciting stuff.)

DirectorsSean McNamara – ( Known For: Soul Surfer; The Miracle Season; Spare Parts; 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain; Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite; Field of Lost Shoes; P.U.N.K.S.; Aliens Stole My Body; Treehouse Hostage; Mighty Oak; Cody the Robosapien; Space Warriors; The Legend of Galgameth; Race to Space; Future BMT: Raise Your Voice; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Bratz; Notes: Nominated for an Emmy for producing That’s So Raven. His filmography is bonkers. He directed things like the straight-to-video sequels to Baby Geniuses. No wonder this film looks the way it does.)

WritersBarry Berman – ( Known For: Benny & Joon; Future BMT: The Adventures of Pinocchio; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Strange career. I think it is probable that he wrote his version of the screenplay in the early 2000s when the book was first optioned, since his last feature film was made in 2000 previously.)

James Schamus – ( Known For: Hulk; Lust, Caution; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm; Eat Drink Man Woman; Ride with the Devil; Indignation; Taking Woodstock; The Wedding Banquet; Pushing Hands; BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Nominated for three Oscars, two for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and one for producing Brokeback Mountain. Well known for his collaborations with Ang Lee.)

Vonda N. McIntyre – (BMT: The King’s Daughter; Notes: Odd one. She’s the writer of the book which won the Nebula Prize in 1997. Odd because she doesn’t have a TMDb profile at all, so it screws up all my algorithms. Get on that TMDb!)

ActorsPierce Brosnan – ( Known For: GoldenEye; The World Is Not Enough; Mars Attacks!; Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief; Mamma Mia!; The Mirror Crack’d; Cinderella; The World’s End; Tomorrow Never Dies; Die Another Day; Mrs. Doubtfire; The Foreigner; Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again; No Escape; The Thomas Crown Affair; The Ghost Writer; The Misfits; The Only Living Boy in New York; False Positive; Future BMT: Black Adam; Remember Me; Dante’s Peak; The November Man; After the Sunset; Laws of Attraction; I Don’t Know How She Does It; Love Affair; BMT: The King’s Daughter; The Lawnmower Man; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Supporting Actor for Mamma Mia! in 2009; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for The World Is Not Enough in 2000; Notes: Y’all know Brosnan. Famously couldn’t play James Bond due to commitments to Remington Steel (and possibly odd contract conditions like not being able to wear a tuxedo outside of Remington Steel). But then they want back to him in the 90s when working on Goldeneye.)

Kaya Scodelario – ( Known For: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; The Maze Runner; Moon; Crawl; Maze Runner: The Death Cure; Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; Don’t Make Me Go; Wuthering Heights; Now Is Good; Spike Island; Tiger House; The Truth About Emanuel; Shank; Twenty8k; Future BMT: Clash of the Titans; BMT: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City; The King’s Daughter; Notes: In 2014 when this was shot she would have been shooting Maze Runner and just coming off of Skins. So the casting makes a bit more sense in that context instead of her current status as the lead in a defunct Resident Evil franchise.)

William Hurt – ( Known For: Avengers: Endgame; Avengers: Infinity War; Robin Hood; The Incredible Hulk; Black Widow; Captain America: Civil War; Into the Wild; The Village; Body Heat; A History of Violence; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; The Good Shepherd; Dark City; Altered States; The Big Chill; Mr. Brooks; Eyewitness; Tuck Everlasting; Broadcast News; Syriana; Future BMT: Vantage Point; Michael; Trial by Jury; BMT: The King’s Daughter; The Host; Lost in Space; Winter’s Tale; Notes: Died in March. Was nominated for Best Actor three years in a row (1986 he won for Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1987 he was nominated for Children of a Lesser God, and 1988 he was nominated for Broadcast News). Also nominated for Supporting Actor in 2006 for A History of Violence. Nominated twice for Emmys as well.)

Budget/Gross – $40 million / Domestic: $1,758,963 (Worldwide: $2,204,327)

(My god. Again, why even bother to release this? Was it a clause in a contract or something. There is no way it makes more money than dumping it on streaming right? Or do studios get paid by theaters to play movies or something? It makes no sense.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (13/65): A muddled mess that was clearly tinkered with in post-production to little avail, The King’s Daughter is a royal disappointment.

(Tinkered?! The first 30 minutes of this film are an editor’s nightmare. Clearly just 40 disparate 3 minute long scenes strung together to try and build up an otherwise non-existent story. That isn’t tinkering. That’s an abomination.)

Reviewer Highlight: The King’s Daughter might be more fascinating than the movie itself, which has its moments of campy delights but is eventually sunk by the meandering story, some over-the-top performances and underwhelming special effects. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Poster – The King’s Sklogger

(Look at Brosnan’s flowing locks! The poster certainly tells a story. Just not one I want to look at. I guess I like the gold font on the blue background. C+.)

Tagline(s) – A King. His Daughter. A Hidden World. (C-)

(This tagline is telling us things already explained by the title of the movie. It’s got the structure of a tagline, but somehow really doesn’t work.)

Keyword(s) – past

Top 10: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Forrest Gump (1994), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Django Unchained (2012), Gladiator (2000), Inglourious Basterds (2009), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), The Prestige (2006), Shutter Island (2010)

Future BMT: 88.7 BloodRayne (2005), 73.0 The Unborn (2009), 70.5 Texas Chainsaw (2013), 70.2 Black Christmas (2006), 67.4 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), 66.0 The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2014), 64.6 The Final Destination (2009), 62.1 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), 59.8 Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), 56.8 Robin Hood (2018), 55.1 Annabelle (2014), 54.9 The Quiet Ones (2014), 54.5 Snow Dogs (2002), 53.8 Spy Hard (1996), 53.2 Porky’s Revenge (1985), 52.4 2016: Obama’s America (2012), 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 51.6 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983), 50.3 Halloween Kills (2021), 50.2 The Last Legion (2007)

BMT: Epic Movie (2007), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Fog (2005), Movie 43 (2013), Super Mario Bros. (1993), Glitter (2001), Holmes & Watson (2018), The Master of Disguise (2002), The Legend of Hercules (2014), Grease 2 (1982), The Bye Bye Man (2017), Jonah Hex (2010), Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Wild Wild West (1999), Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994), The Ridiculous 6 (2015), Highlander: Endgame (2000), Black Knight (2001), Chernobyl Diaries (2012), A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), The Musketeer (2001), An American Haunting (2005), Apollo 18 (2011), Ishtar (1987), The Curse of La Llorona (2019), Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Pinocchio (2002), The Nun (2018), Bolero (1984), Bones (2001), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), House of Wax (2005), Season of the Witch (2011), The Tuxedo (2002), Mannequin: On the Move (1991), Pompeii (2014), Ghost Ship (2002), Assassin’s Creed (2016), The Scarlet Letter (1995), Dolittle (2020), Timeline (2003), The Quest (1996), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), Wagons East (1994), The Three Musketeers (2011), Diana (2013), Ben-Hur (2016), Rambo III (1988), Around the World in 80 Days (2004), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Cutthroat Island (1995), Texas Rangers (2001), The King’s Daughter (2022), Sucker Punch (2011), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001), Jobs (2013), Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Original Sin (2001), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), American Outlaws (2001), Universal Soldier (1992), Winter’s Tale (2014), Harlem Nights (1989), I Dreamed of Africa (2000), Pearl Harbor (2001), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), The Identical (2014), The Chamber (1996), The Marrying Man (1991), Wild Bill (1995), In Love and War (1996), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Gods and Generals (2003), The Lone Ranger (2013), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Halloween II (1981), September Dawn (2007), Young Guns II (1990), Oscar (1991), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Evening (2007), The 13th Warrior (1999), White Comanche (1968), Gangster Squad (2013), Now and Then (1995), A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Best Options (year2022): 52.1 Radhe Shyam (2022), 34.2 The King’s Daughter (2022), 20.6 Amsterdam (2022), 7.3 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)

(There really wasn’t much to choose from here. I promise you, we would have never watched this film if not for the fact that it was the only bad film released in 2022 set in the past.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 17) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Kaya Scodelario is No. 2 billed in The King’s Daughter and No. 1 billed in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which also stars Neal McDonough (No. 7 billed) who is in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (No. 3 billed) which also stars Chris Klein (No. 2 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 2 billed) => (2 + 1) + (7 + 3) + (2 + 2) = 17. If we were to watch Laws of Attraction, and Next we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

Notes – Filmed in 2014, it remained unreleased until 2022.

The film was partly filmed in the Palace of Versailles, which included a huge dance sequence filmed inside the Hall of Mirrors. They had to film it at night, when the tourists weren’t around, and struggled to finish it up by 5:30 a.m.

Filming wrapped in May 2014 and a release date was set for April 2015. However a series of events starting with the studios lack of enthusiasm with the cut they were originally presented with followed by Fan Bingbing getting into trouble with the Chinese authorities for non payment of taxes had impeded this film’s release. As the film featured a then major star in Chinese cinema and Chinese investors stumped up 50% of the budget, her income tax issues and the negative publicity in China effectively killed her career there and with it any chance of a lucrative Chinese release. With Pierce Brosnan as the only international star in the cast and without a major studio to back the release campaign the film sat on the shelf for nearly eight years.

Benjamin Walker (Yves De La Croix) is married to Kaya Scodelario (Marie-Josephe D’Alember).

The final film of his to be released while William Hurt was alive, however, it was far from the final film he shot as it was shot 8 years prior to its release and Hurt’s death.

The second time Julie Andrews narrated a film, as she narrated Enchanted (2007).

The 1997 source novel by Vonda N. McIntyre: ”The Moon & the Sun”, was awarded the Nebula Award for Best Sci-fi Novel, besting the George R.R. Martin novel which would generate the Game of Thrones (2011) series.

The film rights for the source Vonda N. McIntyre novel ”The Moon & the Sun” were purchased in 1999 by Jim Henson Productions, with Broadway director Christopher Renshaw was announced as making his cinematic debut. Henson associate Bill Mechanic reportedly brought the project with him to Disney who signed Mechanic as a producer in 2001 and a 2002 start date with Natalie Portman as star was announced, but did not eventuate.


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