Once upon a time Vonda McIntyre wrote a fantasy sci fi novel called The Moon and the Sun. Or was it a historical novel? Actually, The Moon and the Sun was both, a hybrid genre that won the Nebula award for Best Novel when it came out in 1997.
In 2014 production wrapped on a film based on the book. The movie starring Pierce Brosnan as the immortality seeking King Louis XIV—aka The Sun King—was supposed to come out early in 2015 but was pulled at the last minute. The buzz is the special effects weren't quite fantastical enough. Now, newly re-titled The King's Daughter, the film is set for release this October 7th.
“This guy is the king of all kings,” Brosnan explained. “It’s not a historically on-the-nose rendition, it’s a fantasy fable. So it allows one a lot of leeway to make an impressionistic gesture at the whole court of Louis. And, by heavens, we’ve pulled it off, I think.”
“My Louis is Jim Morrison meets Alexander McQueen meets Tom Ford, in the costume department. With a magnificent wig, a great-looking horse and lots of attitude. He certainly was the rock star of his time. His is a grand vanity: he wants to live on forever so he can eat, fornicate and go to war.”
In seventeenth-century France, Louis XIV rules with flamboyant ambition. In his domain, wealth and beauty take all; frivolity begets cruelty; science and alchemy collide. From the Hall of Mirrors to the vermin-infested attics of the Chateau at Versailles, courtiers compete to please the king, sacrificing fortune, principles, and even the sacred bond between brother and sister.
By the fiftieth year of his reign, Louis XIV has made France the most powerful state in the western world. Yet the Sun King's appetite for glory knows no bounds. In a bold stroke, he sends his natural philosopher on an expedition to seek the source of immortality — the rare, perhaps mythical, sea monsters. For the glory, of his God, his country, and his king, Father Yves de la Croix returns with his treasures: one heavy shroud packed in ice...and a covered basin that imprisons a shrieking creature.
(L-R) Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Lintillac_Pierce Brosnan as King Louis XIV & Pablo Schreiber as Dr. Labarthe in The King's Daughter based on The Moon and the Sun)
The King's Daughter also stars Benjamin Walker, William Hurt, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Kaya Scodelario with BingBing Fan as the mermaid. James Schamus (Indignation, Brokeback Mountain) penned the script, with writing credits also going to Ronald Bass, Barry Berman, Laura Harrington
and Bill Mechanic. Conrad W. Hall (son of the famous cinematographer) was the director of photography. Hall—who was a camera operator on Free Willy back when I worked on that film as a production coordinator—has been in the camera operator's chair for Fight Club, 7en, Grosse Point Blank; this is one of his handful of cinematography credits including Olympus Has Fallen, Panic Room and Two for the Money.
Let me know if you spot the trailer.