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Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Contention for Female Lead in Lionsgate’s Robin Hood Origins Project

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Contention for Female Lead in Lionsgate's Robin Hood Origins Project

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”).

Deadline reports that a near-international search is underway for Egerton’s leading lady, with 4 actresses said to be on Lionsgate’s shortlist, including British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who is joined by Irish actress Eve Hewson, Dutch actress Gaite Jansen, and Australian Lucy Fry.

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” which is currently filming), 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. 

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is producing the film with Harold and Tory Tunnell, as well as Basil Iwanyk.

There are a number of rival Robin Hood projects in the works, so Lionsgate has made its own a priority, likely striving to get over the finish line first.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw will next be seen in “Concussion” with Will Smith this December.

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