Going back to the earliest of days of cinema, there have been numerous adaptations of the Robin Hood story in both film and on television. The heroic outlaw of English folklore who “robs from the rich and gives to the poor” alongside his band of Merry Men continues to be widely depicted in literature, TV and the cinema.
The latest is a Lionsgate project titled “Robin Hood: Origins,” a planned feature film that will be directed by Otto Bathurst (“Peaky Blinders”) and star Welsh actor Taron Egerton (“Kingsman: The Secret Service”).
This is the same project that British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw was in the running for last fall to play Egerton’s leading lady, Maid Marian, along with Irish actress Eve Hewson, who would eventually get the part.
Described as a “gritty, revisionist take on the legend” with comparisons being made to “The Dark Knight,” the origins story will be scripted by Joby Harold (“Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur”), and will see the titular hero returning from “fighting in The Crusades and finds that Sherwood Forest is rife with corruption and evil,” which inspires him to assemble a posse of outlaws who use the tools they know best to restore civility.
Jamie Foxx has joined the cast to play Little John, Robin Hood’s sidekick. He’s also a veteran of The Crusades, although initially fighting against Robin Hood’s side, before eventually switching royalties though with some skepticism at the start.
According to English folklore, Little John was Robin Hood’s second-in-command. His name was actually John Little, but he would eventually be called “Little John” by Robin Hood as a form of irony, because the character is a large warrior.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is producing the film which will be shopped at the European Film Market this month in Berlin, with promises of a “progressive” reboot to deliver a depiction of Robin Hood “unlike anything we have ever seen before,” said the DiCaprio: “Robin Hood is a legendary story known to audiences across the globe. When I heard about Otto’s vision for this film, I was immediately drawn to how he plans to transform a powerful script by Joby Harold into a modern, progressive version of a classic story… He is an extraordinary storyteller and this film will be one with dynamic and complex characters at its core. I am excited to work closely with Otto to deliver a depiction of Robin Hood unlike anything we have ever seen before.”
Filming for “Robin Hood: Origins” is expected to begin this fall.