THE Hollywood film director Zack Snyder, best known for making comic book movies including Justice League, Watchmen and 300, has said he is developing a film project that will be a “faithful” retelling of the myth of King Arthur.

Faithful to what exactly?

Well, that’s the question. It’s not something Snyder goes into in what was only a throwaway comment in an interview. The legend of King Arthur has been told and retold many times over the centuries, from medieval historians and poets to Mark Twain and Monty Python. (Our favourite is John Boorman’s 1981 version, Excalibur, by the way).

Scholars debate whether Arthur existed at all. There is scant historical evidence. Those who think he did mostly follow the line that he was a leader of Britons fighting the Anglo-Saxons. Oh, and possibly Welsh.

Welsh? Wasn’t Camelot in Falkirk?

If you think Artuir mac Aedain, who fought the Picts and the Anglo-Saxons and had a fort in Falkirk, was Arthur, maybe. But Camelot is a French invention. The French poet Chretien de Troyes, author of five Arthurian romances introduced the idea of the Grail quest, Lancelot and Guinevere and the court of Camelot into the Arthurian mythology.

When did Arthur first turn up in literature?

Depends. Some claim the Welsh bard Aneirin mentions someone who could be Arthur in Y Gododdin in the sixth century (though it’s disputed), but usually the first literary reference is attributed to the Welsh monk Nennius in the 9th century, in his Historia Brittonum.

In 1136 (or thereabouts), Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain claimed Arthur conquered the whole of Europe. To be fair, though, Geoffrey’s critics have painted Geoffrey as a bit of a Jacob Rees-Mogg when it comes to historical accuracy.

History, schmistory. The legend is the fun bit, isn’t it?

Oh yes, but even then the one we mostly pay attention to is that of courtly. But there are some aspects of Arthur’s legend that are far wilder and more entertaining.

Such as?

How about that Merlin was the son of the devil? Or that Sir Gawain beheaded Lady Ablamar (by mistake) and then wore her head like a necklace. Or that Arthur slept with his sister. Or that he once fought a monster cat called Cath Palug who, allegedly in one French 12th-century version of the story kicked Arthur’s backside, chucked him in a bog and went off to become king. (Now that sounds like a movie we’d watch.)

Not sure any of those stories turned up in that Guy Richie movie about King Arthur.

More's the pity. Still, at least Guy included some multicultural casting, even if Djimon Honsou played Sir Bedivere rather than Sir Morien, who was a knight of the round table and a Moor. And then there was Sir Palamedes the Saracen, who turns up in Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur. So, if anyone tells you there shouldn’t be any people of colour in King Arthur movies …

But if the film ever gets made it will just be another partriarchal story about guys lording it over the girls, as usual.

In which case maybe you should watch last year’s TV series Cursed, which focuses on the Lady of the Lake, aka Nimue.