I know exactly what you’re thinking. Why do we need another Robin Hood movie? We’re right there with you. Along with the likes of Peter Pan, Robin Hood seems to be one of the most retread stories known to man. You hate sequels, remakes, and reboots? Most of them don’t hold a candle to the number of Robin Hood stories we’ve gotten. Maybe King Arthur stories slightly edges out Robin Hood, but it’d be a close competition. Well, regardless of what we all want, Robin Hood: Origins is happening, and while we can’t necessarily agree with the studio in bringing this one to life, there’s still a possibility that they can do something cool with it.
If you were unaware that this film was even happening, all we can tell you so far is that Kingsman star Taron Egerton plays the titular Robin Hood, Ben Mendelsohn plays the Sheriff of Nottingham, Eve Hewson plays Maid Marion, and Jamie Foxx is playing Little John. Apart from that, there are few details. However, based on that cast alone, it seems to us that they’re already trying to paint this remake as different by giving it an extra edge. But is that really enough to make this remake worth it?
Speaking with Collider, the film’s producer Basil Iwanyk gave some insight as to why he felt this film was worth making:
“Exempting the killer cast, I feel that it captures the adventure and the fun and the spirit of Robin Hood, but because it’s the origin story — it’s a kid going off to war thinking he’s going on a great Crusade, and realizing it’s all bullsh*t and coming back with some PTSD and realizing he’s been lied to, and coming back to kind of a fractured society that doesn’t really accept him and realizing, ‘Okay the super rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.’ You could describe that now. What Joby Harold, our writer, was able to do is make it feel very allegorical and very contemporary, and feel youthful but not youthful in a YA way, youthful in a kind of, the anger, the energy, what people when they were 25 feel, without it being pandering like ‘Look, we’re the young version of the movie!’”
Apart from his use of the phrase “origin story,” which makes it feel even more like a retread, I have to say, this doesn’t sound half bad. In storytelling, character is king, and so long as you can get audiences on board with the character and their plight, you can pretty much do anything you want. This plot he pitched to the outlet has a real backbone to it, one that actually gives the lead a real motivation to do what he does apart from “this is how it is because that’s how the story has been told in the past.”
Even more interesting, however, was when Iwanyk namedrop John Wick as an inspiration. Yes, that John Wick.
“The images of Robin Hood, the imagery we have, the production design, the stunt work that we’re doing — a lot of it was inspired by the John Wick stunt work. The stuff we’re doing with the bow and arrow, it’s the same thing that Keanu does with the gun. The costumes, it just feels different than any other Robin Hood we had.”
Despite all my common sense and instincts, after this producer’s comments, I can’t help but sort of look forward to it. The story seems to be coming from a real genuine place, and if the action scenes are as kickass as described here, I’d find it hard to fault it too bad. But if that wasn’t enough, it sounds like the pitch was enough to bring Ben Mendelsohn in to play yet another bad guy after his part in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“Otto [Bathurst] is a star, our director. He’s a closer. Because that cast is sprawling. Jamie Foxx and Ben Mendelsohn and Taron Egerton, those are different muscles to flex. And Ben, who did not want to play a bad guy, after meeting Otto was just like ‘Oh my God this movie’s gonna be great. I’m all in.’ We had him right when Rogue One made a gazillion dollars so it was the last thing he wanted to do, but Otto closed him.”
If nothing else, I give these guys all the credit in the world for their ability to pitch an idea. As someone who has never really loved Robin Hood, and who has subjected myself to remake after remake, I’m actually ready to see what this flick has in store.
What about you? Were you as weak as I was? Have Iwanyk’s comments swayed your initial opinion on this one? Let us know in the comments down below!
Robin Hood: Origins hits theaters on March 23, 2018!
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