Arthur the King Director & Author Praise Mark Wahlberg And Simu Liu’s Performances
7 mins read

Arthur the King Director & Author Praise Mark Wahlberg And Simu Liu’s Performances


  • Get ready to be inspired by Mark Wahlberg’s impressive performance as Michael Light in the heartwarming adventure film Arthur the King.
  • Director Simon Cellan Jones ensured authenticity by taking the cast to real locations for intense action scenes in the Dominican Republic.
  • Based on the true story of Mikael Lindnord, Arthur the King is a love letter to the late real Arthur and showcases the bond between man and dog.

Arthur the King is based on the true story of Mikael Lindnord’s book Arthur: The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home. In the movie, Michael Light, an extremely competitive adventure racer, dreams of finally winning after years of falling short. For what may be the last time, Michael puts together an unlikely team to race across the Dominican Republic. They soon have a new teammate join the fray in the form of a stray dog who loyally follows them till the end of the line, until things come to a head when Michael is forced to choose between his new canine companion or victory.

Arthur the King is led by a layered performance from Mark Wahlberg, who brings not only impressive physicality to the role but pathos as well. Wahlberg is also a producer on the movie, which is helmed by director Simon Cellan Jones, whom Wahlberg worked with before on The Family Plan. The star-studded cast of Arthur the King is rounded out by Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ali Suliman, and Juliet Rylance.


Arthur The King’s True Story & Real-Life Inspiration Explained

The upcoming film is based on the true story of Mikael Lindnord and a stray dog who raced together as part of the Adventure Racing World Championship.

Screen Rant interviewed director Simon Cellan Jones and Mikael Lindnord about their new movie, Arthur the King. Lindnord explained how he helped Wahlberg truly understand the sport of adventure racing and how this movie honors his late canine companion. Jones revealed that the cast and crew needed to trek to the locations themselves, meaning the sweat and exhaustion had an element of authenticity, and praised both Wahlberg and Liu.

Simon Cellan Jones Wanted To Make Sure Arthur The King “Looked Like It Was Really Dangerous”

Mark Wahlberg petting Arthur the King while sitting on a bench

Screen Rant: Mikael, how does it feel to have Mark Wahlberg portray you on screen? Were you guys able to work together to craft how he would portray this character?

Mikael Lindnord: First of all, to have an actor like Mark Wahlberg playing you, portray you in the movies, you can’t even have it as a dream. It’s beyond that. But to have that and also work with him, we were palling before and [I got] him to understand more of the sport. I think he nailed it. I said before, I think he will win an Oscar for this, I think he was brilliant.

He was fantastic, and especially in those scenes with Ukiah and Arthur in the movie now, he was brilliant. I really liked that and it strikes my heart every time I saw those scenes. One of the scenes, when Arthur gets his name in the movie, it is so accurate to the real thing. So I was even on set. I sent it to Simon like this was so good. I was crying underneath my sunglasses. This movie is very close to the real thing.

Simon, can you talk to me a little bit about working on location, especially when doing some of those really big action sequences?

Simon Cellan Jones: Yeah, I mean, it was exciting. It was a little scary because we wanted to put our cast in a position where it looked like it was really dangerous. But of course, we didn’t want to put them in real danger. What we did do though, we put them in real hardship. When you’ve got a scene halfway up this big mountain, you can’t take an Uber up there and you can’t say… We couldn’t afford to take a helicopter up there.

So basically, everybody had to walk and carry their gear. So whether you are actors or caterers or me or runners, you are grinding up that hill and pouring with sweat and cursing the whole world. But you go home feeling very tired, but pretty content.

It was authentic sweat that the actors had on this one.

Simon Cellan Jones: Oh, pretty much. Yes.

Arthur The King Is A Love Letter To The Late Real Arthur

Arthur The King Dog

I love that. Then Mikael, I know that you lost Arthur in 2020, so what did it feel like to be able to see his story, get to play out on the big screen and be able to share it with the world?

Mikael Lindnord: I think the Arthur the King is a love letter to Arthur. It was also help a lot of other Arthurs that are out there. So, I’m super proud. I think the movie made Arthur justice. People will love it.

Simon, can you talk to me about working with Mark and Simu to not only bring these characters to life, but make them feel so true and authentic?

Simon Cellan Jones: Well, I mean, they’re both fantastic to work with. I mean, Mark has been making incredible films for years now and shows no sign of stopping. Simu, he was just breaking through. Now, it would be harder to get him for this movie, I guess. But we were so lucky that we found him at the right time. Though they, both of them in their different ways, they know that it’s about commitment.

There’s no point in showing up and burning it in and taking the money. They’re both incapable of doing that. I think they were both excited about where we were, about the story, about Mikael’s story with Mikael, and they just threw themselves into it. So I hope things feel real, and if they do, it’s because the actors made it feel real.

About Arthur The King

Based on an incredible true story, Arthur the King follows Light, desperate for one last chance to win, as he convinces a sponsor to back him and a team of athletes (Simu Liu, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Ali Suliman) for the Adventure Racing World Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Check out our other Arthur the King interviews here:

Arthur the King

hits theaters on March 15.

Source: Screen Rant Plus

Arthur the King Poster

Arthur the King

Arthur the King is an adventure movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Simu Liu. Based on a true story, Wahlberg plays Michael Light, a pro-adventure racer who connects with a stray dog named Arthur. On his journey to win a final race, Light learns the true meaning of victory and friendship as his endurance is pushed to the limit.

Simon Cellan Jones

Release Date
March 15, 2024

Entertainment One


Michael Brandt

Mark Wahlberg , Simu Liu , Juliet Rylance , Nathalie Emmanuel , Ali Suliman , Bear Grylls , Paul Guilfoyle

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