Thursday, February 26, 2009

Robin & Marian Redux

As you may have heard the 39th film version of Robin Hood is in progress. I might be exaggerating on the number but not by much, the point being that there's another one coming about that man who robs from the rich to give to the poor [I can hear the wingnut editorials now "ack! redistribution of wealth! ack!!!" still unable to see that rich people are also into the redistribution of wealth -- no bid contracts, unfair wages, outsourcing -- so long as it's redistributed to them]. Ridley Scott is directing this version, formerly called Nottingham, which means that Russell Crowe is the star. This will mark their 5th movie together. Maybe they're trying to catch up to Tim Burton & Johnny Depp who are hitting lucky #7 with Alice in Wonderland which will be out in 2010, same year as this Robin Hood.

Every generation gets at least one version of the story of
the honorable thief and his fair maiden


It's also no surprise that Cate Blanchett has signed to co-star as Maid Marian -- offers hit her inbox at the rate spam hits yours. That said she seems like a decent choice. But Russell Crowe? Here's how Brian Grazer explains the casting decisions
They are both highly accomplished dramatic actors who are taken seriously playing rich characters in period pieces, but each has the ability to show you fun.
I'll give you the first part but "both" on the second? Blanchett can definitely have fun onscreen (see The Talented Mr Ripley, Indiana Jones, The Aviator, Bandits) even if it's it's usually only a means at getting at the drama but Crowe !? "Fun" is not the word that comes to mind. Ah well, it's a winning ticket at any rate. It's not like they'll even have to try to be able to wipe the floor with Hollywood's last big Robin Hood movie. Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and their 1938 movie's 4 Oscar nominations won't be quite so easy to take down.

I guess this means that Ridley Scott is no longer making Monopoly the Movie which means we don't get to see who Crowe would have played in that. I had my money on The Banker with a nervous glance sideways at the Battleship.

30 comments:

john said...

As someone that admires the work of Cate Blanchett I'm a bit concerned here, i mean this film has been in development hell, and the producer puts emphasis on 'fun' and that they'll be going for a PG-13 Rating. Is this Robin Hood for KIDS?
What's more i'm not sure what she'll bring to this role that will be new, she may end up going over old ground (something she clearly works hard not to do) with a Hepburn (in The Lion in Winter mode)meets Galadriel meets Elizabeth. Whats more i was hoping that she'd take a LONNNNG break from the movies due to her theatrework, so that in a few years time she could suprise us all over again like she did 10 years ago.

Lara said...

NEVER understood the appeal of Russel Crowe. Another Robin Hood movie. What for? Bad move from Cate Blanchett.

Jack said...

This film has gone through so many different changes it's hard to keep up. First it was the standard Robin Hood story told from the perspective of the Sheriff, played by Russell Crowe; then it was the standard story told from Robin's perspective and Crowe was playing both the Sheriff AND Robin Hood; now Crowe is just playing Robin. I was personally hoping for another Crowe/Bale face-off (obviously with Bale playing Robin Hood).

But the real reason I'm posting a comment is: I will not have a word said against "Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves". One of my personal all-time favorite movies.

Anonymous said...

As much as I love Russell and Cate, but why do we need 39 versions of Robin Hood anyways?

vince said...

Cate Blanchett is in it?

Great. Now, I have to see it.

NATHANIEL R said...

oh vinci! you fell right into Brian Grazer's nefarious trap.

Pedro said...

Well, Russel Crowe is not my favorite actor by any stretch of the imagination, but he did have fun in an Australian movie called "The Sum of Us". I have seen that movie labeled as a comedy, and it was heartwarming (although I will grant that it was "early" in Russel's career).

adam k. said...

Nat, you have seen The Sum of Us, right? It's a real treat to see Crowe the Bruiser play gay. He's very good in it.

I'd also argue that he had a lot of "fun" in Master and Commander, for what it's worth.

So while I'd love to see Depp in a Robin Hood vehicle, I think Crowe would be interesting and could pull it off.

Katey said...

What's wrong with Robin Hood for kids, John? For me the real Robin Hood has always been played by a fox, King Richard by a lion, etc. etc.

Wayne B. said...

Is Russell Crowe still playing dual role of Robin Hood & The Sheriff? I hope not cause I don't know if I could take two servings of Crowe, "LA Confidential" is still his greatest work and the only time really enjoyed his qualities. On a postive note: Vanessa Redgrave(gasp) and Gordon Pinsent are RUMORED to be appearing, Be Still My Heart. lol

NATHANIEL R said...

i love Russell's early work (i just never talk about it. Love him in The Sum of Us and LA Confidential and Proof) so I'm not besmirching that. I just think he's just about the opposite of "fun"

that said in the same article where they stress "fun" they also say the concept has become more Gladiatorish.

so maybe they don't know what they're making at all.

sal said...

Does anyone else think that the Hood/Marian relationship will probably be inspired by the O'Toole/Hepburn relationship in Lion in Winter?

ShoNuff said...

Isn't Cate a little old for Marian? I love her & all, but I just don't see her as a fit. I'd love to see Kelly MacDonald as Marian. Russell Crow, meh. Hugh Dancy or Henry Cavill, please. Oh, and can they bring back Alan Rickman as the Sheriff? So damn good the last time, he deserves to play it up again.

crazycris said...

hear! hear! for bringing back Alan Rickman!!! (although he might be a bit busy with Prof Snape's final outings...)

as an ardent fan (read fanatic, am having so much fun with the BBC series) of Robin Hood... I think there can never be too many! Might change my mind once I've seen it though... at the very least we shouldn't have to sit through the godawful accents from Prince Of Thieves (film which I actually quite enjoyed when I saw it, and still do thx to the sheriff, but those accents... *shudder*)

and yeah, unless they're going for something in between young Robin and his fair maid and "Lion in Winter" I think they're both too old for the roles...

Pablete said...

My personal favourite is the magical team of Audrey Hepburn and Sean Connery. They were/are the most romantic Marian and Robin ever. Poetry and lyricism exploded out of the ravishing chemistry between these two human beings!

gabrieloak said...

Weren't Sienna Miller and Kate Winslet offered the role before Cate?

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

OK. Quit it with the Oscar talk now. There is no need to sully Michael Curtiz's gorgeous and definitve Robin Hood film with the O-word in the same sentence. Its number of nominations is neither impressive nor relevant. I don't understand why it came up. Benjamin Button got 13 of them. Does that mean it's more than 3 times the movie that Robin Hood is?
Or that Slumdog M. is 10 times the movie Rachel Getting Married is?

Speaking of which, I finally caught the latter. What an astounding piece of work - and your irrational and excessive love of Anne Hathaway suddenly seems not only justified but mandatory.

NATHANIEL R said...

y kant... this is why everyone on the internet should shut up until they see the movies ;)

but point taken on ROBIN HOOD. Oscar came up because i'm having the bends from returning to real life. Plus Ridley wants on. Russell and Cate have one and where they go buzz follows.

NATHANIEL R said...

Ridley wants "on" should of course be Ridley wants "one" as in "one Oscar" although he probably wants two.

Arkaan said...

Ignoring, for a moment, that we need another Robin Hood like a dog needs syphilis, I'm more concerned about Scott and Crowe pairing up AGAIN. They're so clearly comfortable with each other that they let the other get away with stuff they really shouldn't. Ridley Scott is signed onto direct/produce Child 44, an intriguing thriller. Now, in the correct hands (Curtis Hanson, for example. Or Paul Greengrass, Martin McDonagh, Kevin MacDonald, Christopher Nolan, Ang Lee, etc) this could be a great film and Crowe (who isn't officially signed onto it) would probably thrill us like he did during THE INSIDER/LA CONFIDENTIAL. But under Scott he'll rely on his usual mannerisms and Scott, who isn't an actor's director by any means, won't do anything to stop it, and transform a gripping work into a rote one.

Okay, but we don't need another ROBIN HOOD. I'm sorry, but we don't. We have the elegaic 1976 Hepburn/Connery film. We have the great Curtiz one. Hell, Alan Rickman reminded us that he rocks the casbah in the blah Kevin Costner one. We have the animated version (dearest to my heart). We have the recent BBC series which is ridiculous, but sorta entertaining nonetheless (in a remove your brain way). This is not necessary.

Okay Cate, so step away from the HOOD. Thanks. You've already gained some cool points by doing the voice in Miyazaki's next film (PONYO ON THE CLIFF). Don't lose them so quickly.

Glenn said...

I think Crowe can be fun, most definitely. He just doesn't ever particularly get the chance to show it off.

The Errol Flynn/Olivia de Haviland version is simply HEAVEN!

NicksFlickPicks said...

I just thought the Banker/Battleship line was hysterical. That's all.

Anonymous said...

I hope Crowe looses a lot of weight. And personally, I preferred the feisty Sienna Miller rather than Cate Blanchett. Rachel Weisz would have been better as well.

NATHANIEL R said...

john... (first!) it occured to me after you typed this that maybe Cate Blanchett is a pay or play star at this point (???) in which case why not sign on to everything? If they cancel the project you still get paid.

elliot said...

Uma Thurman was a great Mariann in the 1991 film, one of her most underrated performances

NATHANIEL R said...

i totally forgot about that on!

there was a competing version and Costner's movie sucked all the air out of the room

Paul Outlaw said...

Has anyone been following this Robin Hood?
I've heard some good (babalicious) things about it but have yet to catch an episode.

NATHANIEL R said...

paul. i actually recorded a marathon of that on my dvr but ended up deleting it when my dvr needed room. i never saw any of them!

Arkaan said...

It's not very good, but if you're in the mood for shallow hijinks, you could do worse. It doesn't justify a DVR so much, though.

Tonally bizarre (see the Sherrif character), glib, but ludicrous fun all the same. Except when it's not.

Ranjini said...

Very late to the party, but might I add some assent to the suggestion for Rachel Weisz as Marian - not just because we haven't seen her a lot lately, but she bears a striking resemblance to Lucy Griffiths, the actress who played Marian in the 2006-09 BBC series.