News came today that Warner Bros. Pictures has started working on a Robin Hood movie from writer Will Beall (Gangster Squad, Aquaman), and producers Dan Lin (The Lego Movie) and John Zaozirny. Normally this wouldn’t be the most newsworthy thing, except this means there are now four different films currently being developed around Robin of Loxley and his Merry Men.
Besides WB’s, Lionsgate is developing Robin Hood: Origins (a titling that worked so well for the X-Men franchise). That’s being written by Joby Harold (Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming King Arthur series), and produced by Appian Way along with Safehouse Pictures’ Charlie Hunnam, and Tory Tunnell. The film is said to be taking a Batman Begins approach to an origin story.
Disney also has a film in the works, though apparently not one starring a red fox. Director/writer Brandon Barker is developing Nottingham & Hood to be a family friendly adventure like the company’s successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona are producing for The Picture Company.
Finally, Sony paid $1 million for a pitch from scribes Cory Goodman (Priest) and Jeremy Lott with Aperture’s Adam Goldworm on as executive producer. This one is said to be a “Fast & Furious meets Mission: Impossible” action thrill ride that seems to make perfect sense for a 12th century archer. Obviously, Jerry Bruckheimer is rumored to be producing.
Hollywood is no stranger to being gluttonous with public domain properties. Kevin Costner’s classic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves opened against the forgotten Patrick Bergin and Uma Therman-starring Robin Hood in 1991. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles director Jonathan Liebesman just signed on for a King Arthur film called Man at Arms, and that’s not slowing Ritchie down. Heck, there are even two Tupac biopics in the works. Even so, four movies seems just a touch crowded, and it could be a race to see who can get in front of a lens first.
The most recent incarnation of the outlaw of Sherwood Forest was Ridley Scott’s 2010 Robin Hood, which saw Russell Crowe in the title role. That film earned over $300 million internationally, but on a reported $200 million budget, that’s not a major success. Hopefully, one of these four Hood pics hits the bullseye, but it’ll be interesting to see if any of the others spilt the arrow, or just miss the target entirely.