Robin Hood May Be Getting Own ‘Avengers’-Style Universe
Robin Hood could be getting an Avengers-style makeover. On the heels of Marvel’s hugely successful superhero team-up, it seems as if every studio has plans to launch its own shared universe. Recently, it was revealed that Sony, which already has its Spiderman film universe in development, is considering creating a series of interconnected films that revolve around Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is in the midst of negotiating a seven-figure deal to buy a pitch for an entire Robin Hood universe. Entitled Hood, the project will portray the heroic outlaw and his band — Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlett — as a team of vigilantes in England’s Middle Ages. Some are already wondering whether the stories of this relatively small group of characters will be enough to sustain a whole franchise. Though it may seem like a stretch, THR reports that the idea is for all the characters to get their own solo film in addition to one (or multiple) film that features the entire group.
Since Robin Hood and his Merry Men aren’t traditional superheroes, at least in the same sense as Spiderman or the Avengers, this won’t be exactly like what we’ve seen from Marvel’s comic book adaptations. Instead, the Hood project reportedly approaches the story as more in the vein of an action franchise. In terms of their “superhuman” abilities, the characters have been described as resembling those featured in movies like Mission: Impossible and the recent Fast & Furious installments.
Taking that approach only makes sense, given who’s behind the project. Hood comes from Cory Goodman and Jeremy Lott, both of whom have plenty of experience working in the action sphere. The duo is the same one behind the upcoming Warner Bros. sci-fi action project Lore, which has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson loosely attached. Goodman also wrote the critically derided vampire movie Priest and the Black List script The Last Witch Hunter, the latter of which is currently in production with Vin Diesel as the star. He is also currently in charge of rebooting the Underworld franchise. Meanwhile, Lott is behind The Falling, an upcoming supernatural mystery flick starring Zac Efron.
Still, their involvement hasn’t done much to quiet the skeptics, many of whom have wasted no time making it clear they aren’t convinced of the idea’s merit. Their concerns aren’t exactly unwarranted. It’s Hollywood, so it was expected that studios would follow the dollar signs and jump on the shared universe bandwagon sooner rather than later. But in doing so, it’s important to at least choose stories that lend themselves to the cause (aka stories that feature plenty of tie-in characters and adjacent storylines to delve into over multiple installments).
Whether Robin Hood does this is debatable, but it certainly seems like a risky choice. As fans have already started pointing out, the story of Robin Hood itself has already seen countless movie, TV show and book adaptations over the years (Russell Crowe starred in Ridley Scott’s historical epic version of the story as recently as 2010). So right off the bat, Hood will have the difficult task of finding a way to present Robin in an entirely new manner, unlike that of anything we’ve seen of the character before.
Even if producers manage to overcome that sizable hurdle, there’s also the big question of whether each of his Merry Men — not exactly the most layered of characters — could carry a spinoff film of his own. Would anyone really show up for Friar Tuck-specific movie? It seems unlikely, but it all comes down to the way Sony spins it … and, of course, what kind of talent the project draws. Perhaps the right cast would be enough to make the Hood universe a lot more appealing.
We’ll have to stay tuned to see how Hood plays out or if it moves forward at all. In the meantime, there are plenty of other similar projects in the works. Sony is also working on expanding its Amazing Spider-Man universe, with planned spinoff films for villains like Sinister Six and Venom. In addition to its hugely successful Marvel Cinematic universe, Disney is working on a new Star Wars universe, including both a new trilogy and standalone films. D.C. Comic properties Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are coming to us via Warner Bros. Meanwhile, Fox is continuing to develop the X-Men franchise.