Why Hollywood is Obsessed With Robin Hood
Hollywood’s Robin Hood mania has reached a new peak. A total of four feature films centered on the heroic outlaw are currently in the works at various major studios, with the most recent entry coming out of Warner Bros.
According to Deadline, the studio has now started developing its own Robin Hood feature, with a script penned by Will Beall (Gangster Squad, Aquaman). Specific details regarding Warner Bros.’ take on the character have not been revealed, but The Lego Movie’s Dan Lin has reportedly already signed on to produce alongside John Zaozirny.
Though Robin Hood has been on the scene for decades, the character has become an especially hot commodity in the world of feature films over the past year. Warner Bros.’ still-untitled project is only the latest notable movie announced since October that is set to chronicle the adventures of the archer and his band of Merry Men. Sony, Disney, and Lionsgate are currently developing the other three.
Other than the just-announced Warner’s deal, Lionsgate’s project is the one to most recently head into development. Entitled Robin Hood: Origins and scripted by Joby Harold (the scribe behind the upcoming King Arthur), the movie is described as an origins story with a tone similar to that of Batman Begins. Harold is also producing alongside Tory Tunnell via their Safehouse Pictures banner and Appian Way.
Disney unveiled plans for its own big-screen take on Robin Hood in December. Nottingham & Hood will reportedly be a modernized version of the archer’s story that chronicles his adventures in the Sherwood Forest, as well as his rivalry with the sheriff of Nottingham. Penned by first-time writer Brandon Barker and produced by The Picture Co.’s Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, the project is expected to be a charming action adventure film, in the same vein of Pirates of the Caribbean.
But Sony has perhaps the most ambitious plans for the character. In October, the studio negotiated a seven-figure deal to buy Hood, a project following Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men — Little John, Friar Tuck, and Will Scarlet — as a team of vigilantes in England’s Middle Ages. As described at the time, the studio is aiming to make Hood the beginning of an Avengers-style universe for the archer. Per Deadline, that project has been described tonally as mimicking high-action franchises like Fast & Furious and Mission: Impossible.
With so many similarly themed projects in the works, all four of the major studios have the challenge of not only getting out their films first but also of finding a new way to bring Robin Hood to screen. After all, the character has already undergone countless movie, TV show, and book adaptations over the years. In fact, Russell Crowe starred in Ridley Scott’s historical epic version of the story as recently as 2010.
So which of the four developing projects will fare better? Again, it’ll depend largely on which studio wins the race to screen, as well as the kind of talent that each project draws. Audiences will have to stay tuned to see how it all plays out, but it’s clear that Sherwood Forest is about to get very crowded.
In any case, this isn’t only well-known story that Disney and Warner Bros. are currently competing over. Each studio is also heading its own adaptation of The Jungle Book.