In the previous war involving the Kingdom of Ehb, a three-year-old boy was found wandering the field of the Battle of Oxley Pass by the rancher Norick and adopted by the town of Stonebridge. While Norick could be considered his adoptive father, the child was cared for by the entire town, including the family of Basstian and Solana. His identity unknown, the boy grew up to be known as Farmer, married Solana, and was raising his first son Zeph when war suddenly struck again with a surprise attack by the Krug.
The adversary was a Magus-in-exile, Gallian, sadistic, megalomanical, and very powerful, influencing the normally primitive, almost animal-like Krug to take up arms, don armor, and fight against Ehb with a courage, intelligence, and ferocity that surprises all of the Kingdom's inhabitants. While King Konreid, Commander Tarish, and a significant proportion of Ehb's standing army surveys the damage at and seeks recruits from Stonebridge, the King's nephew Duke Fallow and Muriella allow Gallian to infiltrate the castle. Muriella's father Merick, the King's Magus is with the King at Stonebridge, and takes the liberty to investigate the matter of Farmer's true identity.
Farmer's adopted name belies his leadership and combat abilities and, in defiance of the King, he convinces Stonebridge's civilian combatants to mount a rescue mission. Gallian, via an avatar, had killed Zeph and taken Solana and other inhabitants of Stonebridge prisoner. Farmer's rescue mission goes very badly, Gallian nearly kills him because of the threat he poses (a plot device of Kings, Magi, and magical power in the movie's world.) Farmer kills several of Gallian's avatars and escapes execution with the help of Merick, who brings him before the King to reveal his true identity as Camden Konreid, the King's son, solving a major inheritance problem: Duke Fallow is selfish and immature, poor material for royalty even if he weren't in league with Gallian.
Muriella had betrayed Ehb and her father largely by accident: she fell in love with Gallian, who proceeded to deceive and train her, stealing her power. After she realized his dark nature, she breaks off their romance, and confesses to her father Merick, who finally has an answer to another problem of his: a growing imbalance of the magical power in Gallian's favour. To offset this, the normally reclusive nymphs of Sedgwick Forest, led by Elora side with Ehb against Gallian.
The King decides on a surprise attack against Gallian's advancing forces, and Duke Fallow, caught in his treachery, has only his personal guard remaining. Gallian seeks the blood of Farmer, who prevails, while Duke Fallow succeeds in mortally wounding the King, who dies after the forces of Ehb force Gallian to retreat. Farmer's brief battlefield coronation surprises everyone except Gallian, and he decides to press to the attack all the way to Gallian's keep the following day.
Farmer leads a small force consisting of Merick, Muriella, and Elora through mountains to Gallian's back door. The main force led by Tarish and escape efforts led by Norick and Basstian keep Gallian busy, even as he interrogates Solana. Gallian's magical sense for royal blood reveals to him that Solana is pregnant with Farmer's second child, and because of his preoccupation with this, she is able to join in the final battle between Gallian and Farmer's infiltration team. Elora is not able to enter, while Gallian kills Merick and defeats Muriella's magic; Solana and Farmer kill Gallian together. With his magical influence gone, Gallion's avatars vanish and the Krug immediately revert to their natural disposition, retreating from Tarish's hard-pressed forces. The royal couple, still in their peasants' clothes, are then happily reunited.Jason Statham as Camden Konreid/Farmer
Leelee Sobieski as Muriella
John Rhys-Davies as Merick
Ron Perlman as Norick
Claire Forlani as Solana
Kristanna Loken as Elora
Matthew Lillard as Duke Fallow
Ray Liotta as Gallian
Burt Reynolds as King Konreid
Brian White as Commander Tarish
Mike Dopud as General Backler
Will Sanderson as Basstian
Tania Saulnier as Talwyn
Gabrielle Rose as Delinda
Terence Kelly as Trumaine
Colin Ford as Zeph
The production budget was $60 million, making it Uwe Boll's most expensive film production to date.
Boll has said that two versions will be produced due to length. The first will run for 127 minutes as a single movie trimmed down for cinematic release. The second, a director's cut, will be for DVD and run for approximately 156 minutes.
The film was shot near the Municipality of Sooke, the westernmost area of the Greater Victoria, Capital Regional District (CRD), British Columbia. Locals and First Nations people were recruited as extras and for other duties.
Visual effects were added in post-production. Companies included Elektrofilm, Frantic Films, The Orphanage, PICTORION das werk, Rocket Science VFX, Technicolor Creative Services, TVT postproduction, and upstart! Animation.
The German power metal band Blind Guardian recorded the movie's main theme, "Skalds and Shadows". The British progressive metal band Threshold contributed the song "Pilot in the Sky of Dreams" from their album Dead Reckoning. The Swedish power metal band, HammerFall, also contributed a track, "The Fire Burns Forever". Wolfgang Herold was the executive soundtrack producer.
In the Name of the King was a box office bomb, grossing $2.98 million in its United States opening, not cracking that week's top ten. It had grossed $10.3 million worldwide, including $2.47 million in Germany, $1.39 million in Russia and $1.22 million in Spain. Afterwards, Uwe Boll announced that this would be his first and last movie with a large budget.
The film was critically panned. The film holds a 4% "Rotten" rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 49 reviews, with the consensus "Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film." The film is also ranked in that site's 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s and in 2008, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video games movies. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 15 out of 100, based on 11 reviews — indicating "overwhelming dislike." Many critics have attacked the film's close resemblances to other fantasy films, especially the popular The Lord of the Rings films.
The film was nominated for five Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds) and Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski), with Uwe Boll winning Worst Director.
Despite being considered a bomb, Boll filmed a sequel titled In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds. Filming began on December 1, 2010 and it was released in 2011. The film stars Dolph Lundgren and Natassia Malthe.
A third film, In the Name of the King 3: The Last Mission, was filmed in 2013 but not released until 2014. The film starred Dominic Purcell, with Boll returning to direct.
The DVD, released on April 15, 2008, does not include the 156-minute version. The Blu-ray release in December 2008 contains this edition. 813,147 units were sold, gathering a revenue of $14,865,984, more than its box office grossing.