Starz Sets ‘Camelot’ For April

The epic retelling of King Arthur's legend will begin next spring.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Starz Sets 'Camelot' For April

Next year, Starz is slated to follow up "Spartacus: Blood & Sand" and "The Pillars of The Earth" with an epic retelling of the King Arthur tale in "Camelot." And while the series was previously expected to debut in the summer, it will now be coming much sooner.

Starz has announced that "Camelot" will debut on Friday, April 1 2011. Michael Hirst ("The Tudors"), Morgan O'Sullivan ("King Arthur") and Graham King ("The Departed") are among the producers behind the series, which will retell the story of Arthur's younger years after claiming the sword in the stone and before the formation of the Knights of the Round Table.

Film veteran Joseph Fiennes ("Shakespeare In Love") will portray a "Machiavellian" version of Merlin while "Twilight: New Moon" and "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows" actor Jamie Campbell Bower will step into the lead role as Arthur. English actress Tamsin Egerton ("") will play Arthur's lover, Guinevere and Eva Green (who memorably played James Bond's first love, Vesper in "Casino Royale") will be Morgana, Arthur's half-sister and Merlin's nemesis.

It's worth noting that the placement of "Camelot" on the schedule may put it on the air at the same time as HBO's highly anticipated fantasy series, "Game of Thrones," based upon the novels by George R.R. Martin. Since HBO has yet to announce a start date for that series, Starz' "Camelot" may actually get a jump on the other costume epic. It also helps that "Camelot" will be inheriting the Friday night timeslot from "Spartacus: Blood & Sand" and it will probably be heavily promoted during the upcoming "Spartacus: Gods of The Arena" miniseries.

The first season of "Camelot" will be ten episodes long. And if the response is strong, the producers have indicated that they have plans for several additional seasons to follow.