Will there really be a Robin Hood sequel?
Last week a report in the Scottish Daily Star indicated that Russell Crowe and Sir Ridley Scott would like to do a follow-up to Robin Hood. It seems the heritage village of Duncarron in Carron Valley is a desired shooting location but plans for wind turbines in the area could scupper plans.
It appears Russell Crowe has been a long time supporter of the area and has recommended it as a potential filming location. So links to the rumours seem quite legitimate, but is a Robin Hood sequel really on the cards?
Well, at the time of the film’s release, Sir Ridley Scott openly left the door open stating that the period and genre were something that particularly intrigued him. The film itself ends with the credits ‘The Legend Begins’ so the possibilities of a sequel are nothing new.
We then need to think about what a potential sequel might look like. Well firstly, credit to Scott, Crowe, Blanchett et al for the original movie. Taking on the concept with all the films that had gone before was a risk in itself for me. For the first time too the legend was placed in a proper historical context with references to Richard the Lionheart fighting the crusades and actually not returning to save the day.
The other great thing about the movie is that Robin Hood is finally portrayed as a real individual, not the romantic hero of Kevin Costner nor the fanciful action hero of Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn. This for me is where there could be further opportunities to explore.
It is quite often Robin Hood’s character that defines him and his role as an outlaw. Crowe was not identified as an outlaw in the film, although he does take on someone else’s identity. The real Robin Hood would have been an outcast and in the dangerous times that he lived among during King John’s rule, he would have faced his own mortality regularly.
The Scott and Crowe partnership could take on this aspect of the legend within the context of a real individual to great effect. Crowe’s characterisations in Gladiator and Beautiful Mind have been outstanding and Scotts own epic productions speak for themselves.
Yet we have to remember that this essential partnership is ageing, Scott is 74 and Crowe 47. It appears too that Scott has an interest in returning to the Sci-Fi genre with production opportunities of Forever War and Brave New World. As for Crowe, we will only have to see whether Robin needs to be portrayed as a young swashbuckling hero and whether this perception can be challenged.
For me, these give the chances of a sequel long odds but as a Robin Hood fan it doesn’t stop me from thinking that it might not be over yet.