Russell Crowe, arguably the most talented actor working today is hoping reclaim the magic that was last seen in Gladiator. This time he’ll be playing Robin Hood in his fifth collaboration with Ridley Scott.
Originally titled Nottingham, Crowe was going to play dual roles as both the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood, in which Robin isn’t as noble as we thought, and the sheriff isn’t as bad as he’s been previously portrayed. But now it looks like that script has been scrapped, and the flix was ‘nameless’ for awhile. There was even rumor of a love triangle story between the two men and Maid Marion, but last I heard, Scott has decided to just do a straight Robin Hood remake. In any case, this can’t possible be worse with the Kevin Costner version (he can’t even do a decent British accent, for cryin’ out loud!).
The flix has been plagued with numerous production/casting issues that delay the flix from being released this November. There were reports of a feud between Scott and Crowe, which Crowe brushed off as being exaggerated by the press, saying that they both have always had a fiery relationship. Then there were casting problems, the biggest casting hiccup being replacing Sienna Miller with Cate Blanchett (yay!) as Maid Marion. The real reason as to why Miller was ousted remains unclear, alegedly she was deemed too youthful & petite compared to the older & burly Crowe, or it could be that her affair with married man Balthazar Ghetty has cost her this high-profile role. Either way, I’m psyched to see fellow Oscar-winner Blanchett opposite Crowe, she’s in a far higher league acting-wise, which will elevate the quality of any flix she is involved in. Both Aussie thespians are supported by an excellent cast of Mark Strong, Danny Houston and William Hurt playing Sir Guy of Gisbourne, King Richard and William Marshall respectively. Oh, I read that before Crowe was going to tackle the dual roles, Christian Bale (his co-star in 3:10 to Yuma) was ‘penciled in’ to play Robin opposite Crowe as the sheriff. Hmmm, I wouldn’t mind seeing these two fine actors battling each other again.
Several on-set photos have surfaced, including one where an actor was injured in the battle scene (reported by UK’s DailyMail). As for the costume, it’s less ‘men in tights’ but more medieval looking (see on-set pics here), with Crowe sporting a Maximus-like crop. Fitting I suppose, as Crowe has revealed this is going to be a gritty and ferocious portrayal of Robin Hood (what do you expect from the maker of Gladiator?). Looks like Crowe also pulls a ‘Chris Bale’ move with his yo-yoing body weight. His diet of muffins and burgers to bulk up for his role in Body of Lies (also directed by Ridley) has been replaced by peanuts and porridge to get him into the svelte hero of Sherwood. He’s also been put into a cycling regiment to help speed up the slim-down process.
Currently shooting in Wales, the big-budget flix ($170 million) is now set to open in May 2010. Can’t wait!