Sir Patrick Stewart re-watched his performance in 'Excalibur' to prepare for 'The Kid Who Would Be King'.

The 78-year-old actor - who starred in the John Boorman-directed epic fantasy film in 1981 - thinks there are some obvious similarities between the hit film and the new fantasy movie.

Speaking about his research for the new flick - which follows a young boy who finds King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur - Patrick told Collider: ''I'd watched 'Excalibur', because that was the first large-scale movie that I was ever in. That was 1981, and I wanted to see what themes in that movie would overlap with [writer Joe Cornish's script] ... and there were actually quite a few.

''Although I think 'Excalibur' was a little bit more harsh, perhaps, than 'The Kid Who Would Be King'.''

Meanwhile, Patrick previously admitted he's overcome the odds to establish himself as a stage and screen star.

The acclaimed performer explained: ''Why did I find, at the age of 12, that Shakespeare was easy for me? I had the most basic, basic education, but my English teacher put a copy of 'Merchant of Venice' in my hands and I understood it and could speak it well from the very beginning.

''I came from a working-class family from the north of England. Nobody read Shakespeare ... actually, that's not quite true; my oldest brother did, but I didn't know that for many years. And nobody in my family was an actor or performer.

''Why would I have this impulse and why would I find the stage such a safe place? 'Cause it is. A lot of actors have acknowledged that.''