Forget the story you think you know about King Arthur and his sword, Excalibur — it's time to see things through the eyes of a legendary heroine. On Thursday, June 18, the first trailer for Katherine Langford's new Netflix series, Cursed, was released, and the short clip promises a bold new take on the classic Arthurian legend of the Lady in the Lake.
In the upcoming series — which will premiere on the streaming service on July 17 — Langford plays Nimue, "a young woman with a mysterious gift" who is determined to help save her people from a "senseless" war. "After her mother's death, she finds an unexpected partner in Arthur, a humble mercenary, in a quest to find Merlin and deliver an ancient sword," the press release teases. However, unlike most Arthurian legends, in which the Lady in the Lake simply gifts Arthur with Excalibur, Cursed promises to bring Nimue to the forefront, as she becomes "a symbol of courage and rebellion against the terrifying Red Paladins, and their complicit King Uther."
Cursed's twist on the classic tale is clear from the short teaser trailer, which sees Arthur (Devon Terrell) pull the sword from the ground before Nimue makes her own brave stand. "The legend says this sword belongs to the one true king," Langford's voice teases as she rises from the legendary lake, holding Excalibur high and ready to fight. "But what if the sword chooses a queen?"
In addition to providing an action-packed new spin on the classic story, Netflix describes Cursed as a "coming-of-age story" that centers on "the obliteration of the natural world, religious terror, senseless war, and finding the courage to lead in the face of the impossible." In a May interview with Entertainment Weekly, show runner Tom Wheeler — who wrote the graphic novel that Cursed is based on with artist Frank Miller — revealed that it's because of Langford's ability to balance all of those elements that the series works.
"I think first and foremost when casting for Cursed, Frank and I were looking for a mythological truth, actors who could bring the emotion and the humanity to legendary characters without losing the sense of elemental magic and epic stakes, Wheeler told EW at the time. "Led by Katherine Langford, who is equal parts classic hero and sword-swinging badass, this extraordinary cast has brought such depth, commitment, and heart to this story."
Cursed is Langford's first major TV role since leaving 13 Reasons Why back in May 2018, and the actor has shared her excitement over her new project on social media over the past few years. "[It's] a total dream being asked to lead this series with such legendary creatives," she wrote in 2018, and Langford echoed those sentiments when she shared the trailer on June 18.
"It feels like a strange time to talk about anything other than what's going on in the world at the moment, but hopefully this can bring some entertainment, and levity during these important and surreal times," Langford wrote on Instagram, while sharing the teaser trailer for Cursed. "Hundreds of people worked so hard on this last year, and it's a story we're really proud of. I hope you enjoy it too."