Nottingham Is Robin Hood, And Not In The Way We Were Thinking

Fans of Ridley Scott should be sure and stick with this post to the very end for a couple of shiny bonuses. First up though, some news about his imminent trip to Sherwood Forest.

My favorite wheel on the Scott Free bicycle has been working on – or, some might say, working over – the proposed Nottingham for some months now. At first it was pitched as a revisionist slant on the Robin Hood myth in which the Sheriff of Nottingham was revealed as being not such a bad egg after all; then it was suggested that Russell Crowe would be playing a curious kind of split role in the film, portraying both Robin and the Sheriff who, according to some runors, would be revealed to be the same person; now, he's lifted the curtain on his final answer and it's not at all what I was expecting.

Talking to MTV, Scott announced that the film was now simply going to be called Robin Hood. And why? To reflect the name of the lead character, he says. All change there, then.

Scott also explains that now the Sheriff will have a relatively minor role in his film, with the antagonist manifest not so much as an individual as an entire nation (I hope he treads carefully there). Here are some choice quotes on those topics.

"It is better to simply have the evolution of a character called Robin Hood, who will come out of a point in the Crusades which is the end." ... "It is from France. It is the French. The villain is much bigger in that sense; much more important, and much more dangerous." ... "[In] 1066 Harold II went against William the Conqueror. Harold took an arrow in his eye, and William the Conqueror took over England, and so France owned everything right through, even to the extent of changing the architecture of the churches from Anglo-Saxon to Roman, that's French; they changed the arches in the churches."

According to the latest issue of Production Weekly – and this comes direct, not through some kind of Canadian intermediate so you can trust it 100% – the cast includes not only Russell Crowe but also Oscar Isaac, Vanessa Redgrave, William Hurt, Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett. They still list Crowe as the Sheriff and not the hooded man, but who can blame them for a near miss on such an erratically moving target?

Just as a postscript for Scottheads: he also mentioned that he's likely to make films called Gucci and Child 44. They've bubbled up before (Gucci, a biopic of guess who, was reported in Variety and Child 44 cropped up in the Black List coverage here at /Film), but this reminds us that these particular plates are still spinning.