A legend gets a modern retelling in The Kid Who Would Be King, in theaters on January 25. The film is based on the classic story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The movie follows Alex, a boy who is bullied by classmates. One night, while trying to escape from them, Alex finds a sword stuck in a stone pillar. When he pulls the sword from the stone, he awakens the wizard Merlin and the evil Morgana. Now, with the help of his friends, Alex must save the world from Morgana’s wrath.
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Writer and director JOE CORNISH spoke with TIME for Kids about his inspiration for the film. Cornish loved watching movies about King Arthur when he was young. “I was excited to connect modern-day kids with the traditional idea of the knight’s code,” he says. “I wanted to show that kids are just as noble, bold, and capable of improving the world as knights were hundreds of years ago,” he says.