A lavish fantasy epic hailing from an Academy Award-nominated writer that boasts former James Bond Pierce Brosnan, living legend Julie Andrews, Chinese megastar Fan Bingbing, Oscar winner William Hurt and other well-known names including Kaya Scodelario and Pablo Schrieber among the cast sounds like it’s got the potential to hit big at the box office.
The King’s Daughter is adapted from Vonda M. McIntyre’s novel The Moon and the Sun, with Brosnan’s King Louis XIV on an increasingly desperate quest for immortality, one that leads him to capture and imprison a mermaid in order to steal the creature’s essence— who then ends up forming a bond with the monarch’s daughter.
It all sounds very innocuous until you remember (or discover) that The King’s Daughter wrapped principal photography in May 2014. Originally scheduled to hit theaters the following year, it simply vanished into the ether of the industry, never to be seen or heard from again until the distribution rights were suddenly picked up by Arclight Films during 2020’s Cannes Virtual.
The company has already washed their hands of it, though, with Deadline reporting that Gravitas Ventures stepping in and announcing that almost eight years after director Sean McNamara called it a wrap, The King’s Daughter is coming to theaters on January 21, 2022. It’s almost certainly destined to bomb, but it could draw in some casual viewers eager to see why nobody had any interest in releasing it for almost a decade.