‘Justin and the Knights of Valour’ is the story of a young boy who embarks on an adventure to become a knight.
It is the latest project of Spanish actor and producer Antonio Banderas. As well as producing the film, the Hollywood star voices one of the characters. He says that while the storyline may not be new, the way in which it was made will capture the audience’s imagination.
“It is probably a story that has been told many times, a quest story with heroes and villains and princesses. We know that, but we are just focusing on the way we’re telling the story and just attempting to do something very honest, very artisanal, not trying to compete with the studios. But in the end… especially in technological terms, people may be surprised for what they have,” says Banderas.
Young British actor Freddie Highmore lends his voice to Justin, while his love interest Lara, a beautiful, snobby princess, is voiced by Tamsin Egerton. She drew on people she has come across in real life.
“She’s incredibly obnoxious and spoilt, and unfortunately I have met a few girls in my time who are like that. So you take on board people’s traits and say ‘OK I’ll take you, and I’ll take that’ and so it is modeled on lots of people I suppose,” she explained.
Banderas plays Sir Clorex, a palace cleaner who tries to fool the ladies into believing he is a knight. But he believes that at heart he is more like the young hero.
“In a way I am Justin, I am a dreamer who actually did unbelievable things that nobody thought that he could do. I first went to Madrid when I was 19 years old and everybody was against me because I wanted to be an actor… but I became and actor, and then the jump to America was even crazier. I didn’t speak the language, but here I am.”
Although it features a veritable hall of fame of voice talents, the film has earned mixed reviews with some critics saying it fails to capture the sense of fairy-tale wonder that its narrative requires.
‘Justin and the Knights of Valour’ is on global release.