Greg Cote

Aspiring Miami soccer owner David Beckham makes acting debut in new King Arthur movie

David Beckham as Trigger in the new film, King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword.
David Beckham as Trigger in the new film, King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword.

David Beckham, whose effort to realize a Major League Soccer team in Miami has proved as difficult as pulling a sword from a stone, makes his acting debut in King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword, opening nationally in theaters on Friday.

Beckham, 42, has a small part in the film. His appearance lasts only about two minutes but is a speaking role, as Trigger, a smart-mouthed soldier to the king. Fans may not easily recognize the British heartthrob, as he is hardened for the role with yellowed false teeth and prosthetic facial scars. "My role is pretty small in that I have one or two lines," he says in a video on his Instagram page.

This may be called Beckham’s proper acting debut, his first speaking role in a full-length feature film, although he did have a brief, wordless cameo in the 2015 movie, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Both movies were directed by Guy Ritchie, one of Beckham's best friends).

The subject of the new film, King Arthur, was a British leader in the late 5th and early 6th Centuries. Hey, wasn't that about when Beckham first announced his bid to bring an MLS expansion team in Miami? It has begun to seem like that. It actually was February 2014 when Beckham first revealed his dream of building a waterfront stadium for the team. Now, three years and three months later, those waterfront hopes dashed, Beckham and investors appear ready to at last complete the purchase of the three acres needed to complete a stadium site in the Overtown area near downtown Miami, pending county-commission approval.

Meanwhile, Beckham’s movie appearance is not seen as enough to rescue King Arthur from the gloomy outlook of film-industry analysis. The Los Angeles Times projects the film to gross around $25 million its opening weekend, not great. And review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes shows an early approval rating of 25 percent based on 51 early reviews. From the site’s critical consensus: “King Arthur piles mounds of modern action flash on an age-old tale -- and wipes out much of what made it a classic story in the first place.”

Beckham’s next role: Portraying a former English soccer star who, after years of disappointment and delays through a thicket of political morass, finally realizes his dream, of bring Major League Soccer to Miami. Opening soon (or perhaps not) in a stadium near you.