New Robin Hood film in the pipeline for Steven Spielberg
Over the years there have been many attempts to re-live the life of Nottingham’s famous outlaw through the magic of the big screen. Many actors have given the role a go, with huge success and a different take on the character every time. Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks and Kevin Costner have all donned the outfit and held the famous bow and arrow over the years and all resulting in varying effects. Some have attempted the charismatic approach and some have adopted a humorous and romantic-hero (or as I call it, cheesy) approach. Robin has been portrayed in every vain possible. Or has he?
The most recent incarnation of the outlaw saw Russell Crowe fill the role in a film by Ridley Scott, applying a very true-to-life, period spin on the life and times of Robin in comparison to some previous attempts. Personally I found it hard not to compare it to Gladiator in the essence of the period setting and Crowe’s portrayal of a character righting wrongs and ultimately taking on his foe one on one.Accompanied by his Merry Men after deserting the army of Richard the Lionheart, Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) and his friends undertake a journey as outcasts to return the sword of a fallen knight to his father in Nottingham. Robin takes the identity of a certain Robert Loxley and in this sense becomes the outlaw we know from legend by stealing an identity and taking a life outside the law. Ultimately, Robin returns to Nottingham and eventually aids the king in seeing off a French invasion, orchestrated by Sir Godfrey who assists King Philip in his quest to invade England. The moment we all remember from this motion picture epic is of course the moment Robin uses his legendary bow and arrow to dispatch the evil Sir Godfrey on the beaches of Dover; an up-lifting, heroic end to a film delivering on every level.
Returning to my earlier point about Robin being portrayed in every light, it seems a certain director has other ideas and believes we can ride this journey in another way. Steven Spielberg, creator of motion picture classics such as Jurassic Park, E.T. and Jaws, has announced his intention to give Robin a go. There will be some that might question whether he is simply trying to re-invent the wheel.
I think what we can expect, if past Spielberg productions are anything to go by, is a unique perspective on the story and a film that has all the hype and expectation and potentially box office success that a modern day blockbuster demands. His film company DreamWorks are reportedly teaming up with Scott Waugh to deliver a film entitled ‘Merry Men’. The title itself lends us to believe that Robin will not be as much a lead character as he was in previous Robin Hood films, with the merry men as a group taking on a collective protagonist role.
DreamWorks has in fact described the film as “a revenge angle that is tonally reminiscent of The Dirty Dozen and Ocean’s Eleven”. So if this description is anything to go by, we can maybe expect mischief, camaraderie, dry humour and a willingness from the audience for the group of ‘outlaws’ to succeed. If we imagine Brad Pitt, George Clooney and the rest of the cast of Oceans 11 stealing from the rich (wealthy casino owners) and instead of keeping the millions to themselves, give it to the poor, we might have the basis of a hypothetical plot formulating in Spielberg’s mind. One thing is for certain, with Spielberg at the helm, it will be a film full of intrigue and definitely worth paying to see!
In March 2012 we asked, would there be a Robin Hood sequel? At the time this was just pure speculation, with the rumours suggesting that Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott would take up the mantel to bring the blockbuster story line to our screens again in a sequel to the 2010 film. It seems that after four years we have an answer to the question, not maybe with the director we imagined, but none the less, there will be another stab at telling Robin’s story and if you are from Nottingham like me, then I’m sure you will be excited at the prospect of Nottingham taking the global media spotlight on the big screen and our legendary outlaw having his story capture the imagination once more!