There are certain personalities that command a great deal of attention. Characters that no matter how many times you speak of them, people still want to hear more. Legends that take on several different forms and shapes but yet remain the same at their very core. Figures like Superman, Batman, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and, of course, Pluto Nash. Everyone has a strong opinion on these archetypes even though the basic framework is already in place and their position within society and folklore are set in stone.
Same holds true for Robin Hood. Search IMDB’s keyword database for Robin Hood movies and 40 titles will pop up in your results. The scope of genres that Robin’s been in ranges from comedy to action to family even to Sci-Fi. The earliest of which dates back to 1913 with the most well-known releases being 1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1993’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights and 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. ’38’s version starred Errol Flynn, won three Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture. Men in Tights was a spoof of ’91’s Prince of Thieves, which should tell you how well received it was. They don’t make 4 sequels, 4 spoofs and numerous off-shoots if Scream bombed. Though it didn’t receive any Oscar love, it did receive a handful of other nominations and wins with the most prestigious being MTV’s Best Movie Song for Bryan Adams “Everything I Do I Do It For You.” Seriously, sing that to a chick in the summer of ’91 and you’d be Rubbin’ Hood if you know what I mean.
So, where will 2010’s version starring Oscar winner Russell Crowe and directed by legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott land on the memorable spectrum? Back in the summer of 2009, COED pegged the Crowe/Scott vehicle as one of the 20 most anticipated movies of 2010. How will Crowe’s portrayal stack up against Flynn’s and Costner’s? Will Scott take Hood in a darker, grittier place a la Nolan’s depiction of Batman and more notably The Joker? The original script depicted the Sheriff of Nottingham in a more favorable light and painted Robin Hood in a more sinful hue. Those two BFFs then became involved in a love triangle with Maid Marian, that whore.
Crowe signed on for a salary of $20 million against 20% of the gross. Scott came on as director and immediately separated himself from previous film versions of Robin Hood, stating he was not a fan and that “the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks’ Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes was quite a comic.” Judging by the trailer, Crowe seems to be channeling his performance in Gladiator sans the “nothing to live for/I’ll never get remarried” angle. Most remember Robin as Robin of Loxley, but here he is Robin Longstride and assumes the identity of a dying English knight, Robert of Loxley – classic mix up!
Upon returning to England, Robin learns the new ruler, King John, will raise taxes, sending Sir Godfrey to collect. Loxley’s father urges Robin to continue impersonating his fallen son much to the chagrin of Loxley’s widowed Maid Marian. Eventually, the king discovers Godfrey’s an agent for the French and a battle of epic proportions ensues with Robin and his trusty longbow straight up shootin’ the opposition. I picture it like “Enemy at The Gates” – lots of headshots and maybe a two second sex scene to keep the perverts interested.
On a side note, can we please settle on the correct spelling of Maid Lady Dame Marian/Marion? Cripes, there’s more indecision than an offseason with Brett Favre. Universal’s 2010 take on the Hood has Oscar winner and super creepy white witch from Lord of the Rings, Cate Blanchett, playing Marian/Marion. Unlike previous iterations, this Lady isn’t your typical damsel in distress. She’s strong-willed and intelligent, cut from cloth that is more in the vain of Joan of Arc than Rapunzel. See how she stacks up against previous actresses who’ve played the fair maiden on COED’s list of the 7 Sexiest Maid Marians.
Rounding out the cast are Max Von Sydow (probably one of the most badass names outside of Magnus Ver Magnusson) as Loxley’s father, Mark Addy (A Knight’s Tale) as Friar Tuck, Matthew Macfayden (hatchet victim in Grindhouse) as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Kevin Durand (Lost, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Smokin’ Aces) as Little John (yeeaaaaaaaaaah! WHAT?!), Scott Grimes (Steve Smith on American Dad) as Will Scarlet, Alan Doyle as Allan A’Dayle (has there ever been a closer actor to character name in the history of cinema?) and Mark Strong (Kick-Ass, Sherlock Holmes, RocknRolla) as Sir Gilbert Godfrey (how cool would that be?). One cannot leave out the hotness that Lea Seydoux as Isabella.
Expect awesome kills, killer action scenes, and hopefully some make out sessions all in super sleek slow-mo. Too bad the high five wasn’t invented until a couple of centuries later because it would be the icing on the cake for Robin and his Merry Men.
Check out the trailer and the featurettes below: