How many times have we seen Robin Hood told on film? Too much to count is the correct answer. It’s one of those properties like Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, or freaking Peter Pan. I’m pretty sure the only one people universally loved was the Disney animated one from the 70’s along with Men In Tights in 1993. The latest reincarnation will be an origin story starring Taron Egerton as the outlaw of Nottingham, Ben Mendalson as the Sheriff of Nottingham with Jamie Foxx cast as Little John. Hopefully Foxx doesn’t dawn a lock wig with some gold teeth and a pimp cup. If he avoids that, it can’t go as bad as it could.
Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe was not well received by fans or critics either because of the overlong story that seemed to mimic too many things from Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, two films Scott directed prior. It was overly serious film that had the ideas that would have worked, but weened off that path early on in the film.
Lionsgate seems excited about their property and where it can go moving forward as the producer had plenty to say to Collider:
“Exempting the killer cast, I feel that it captures the adventure and the fun and the spirit of Robin Hood, but because it’s the origin story—it’s a kid going off to war thinking he’s going on a great Crusade, and realizing it’s all bullshit and coming back with some PTSD and realizing he’s been lied to, and coming back to kind of a fractured society that doesn’t really accept him and realizing, ‘Okay the super rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.’ You could describe that now. What Joby Harold, our writer, was able to do is make it feel very allegorical and very contemporary, and feel youthful but not youthful in a YA way, youthful in a kind of, the anger, the energy, what people when they were 25 feel, without it being pandering like ‘Look, we’re the young version of the movie!”
That’s a pretty big buy for me folks. Joby Harold has also been penned to rewrite The Flash movie and has a script of his coming to theaters this year with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword which is a relatively similar type of story to Robin Hood in regards to how the settings with evolve. He also spoke about the stunt work the film will likely have:
“The images of Robin Hood, the imagery we have, the production design, the stunt work that we’re doing—a lot of it was inspired by the John Wick stunt work. The stuff we’re doing with the bow and arrow, it’s the same thing that Keanu does with the gun. The costumes, it just feels different than any other Robin Hood we had.”
It’s no surprise John Wick was one of those films that will begin changing the landscape of action films, the same way a Mad Max: Fury Road or The Matrix did. What works will end up being what filmmakers try to copy and hopefully they actually pull of said stunt work the way John Wick did because the realistic nature of it all can bring a level of believable stakes to something we’ve all seen as men swinging through the trees and mucking up their accents — I’m look at you Kevin Costner.