Robin Hood (2010 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ridley Scott|
|Screenplay by||Brian Helgeland|
|Music by||Marc Streitenfeld|
|Editing by||Pietro Scalia|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||140 minutes|
Robin Hood is a 2010 British-American epic adventure film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. It was released in 12 countries on 12 May 2010, including the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and was also the opening film at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival the same day. It was released in a further 23 countries the following day, among them Australia, and an additional 17 countries on 14 May 2010, among them the United States and Canada.3
In 1199 A.D., Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is a common archer in the army of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston). A veteran of the Third Crusade and the war against Philip II of France, he now takes part in the siege of Chalus Castle. Disillusioned and war-weary, he believes the King when invited to give an honest view of the war and the King's conduct. After Robin gives a frank but unflattering appraisal, Richard breaks his promise and has Robin and comrades made prisoner, to be judged after the end of the siege. Upon learning that the King has been slain during an attack on the castle, the betrayed men decide to free themselves and desert. Along the way they come across an ambush of the English royal guard by Godfrey (Mark Strong), an English knight who is collaborating with the French and who is looking for King Richard after having conspired with King Philip II to assassinate Richard. Robin and his companions, seeing English troops being attacked by an unknown force, wade into the fray and counterattack, using their skill as archers. Godfrey and his surviving men are chased off by this attack, and Robin discovers that the English knights were escorting the dead Richard's crown back to England, to present it to the new English king, Richard's younger brother John. Surveying the scene of the fight, Robin finds the knight in charge, Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge). Loxley pleads with Robin to return his sword to his father in Nottingham. Robin reluctantly agrees and Loxley succumbs. Sizing up the situation, Robin realises that he and the companions who had fled with him from the English camp – two other common archers, Allan A'Dayle (Alan Doyle) and Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes), and a soldier Little John (Kevin Durand) — can impersonate the dead English escort party as a way of returning to England and can perhaps aggrandise themselves along the way. They strip the dead English knights of their arms and armour and don it themselves. Then, disguised as the slain royal guard, they head for the English ships on the coast.
Upon arriving in England, Robin (who has assumed the identity of the slain Loxley) is brought to London and chosen to inform the royal family of the King's death. He witnesses the coronation of King John (Oscar Isaac), who now orders harsh taxes to be collected, sending Sir Godfrey off to the North to do so. He has no idea that Godfrey is a French agent who, using French troops, will use this royal decree to stir up enough unrest to cause civil war in England.
Robin and his companions head to Nottingham, where Loxley's elderly and blind father, Sir Walter (Max von Sydow), asks him to continue impersonating his son, to prevent the family lands being taken by the Crown. Loxley's widow, Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett), is initially distrustful of Robin, but soon warms to him when he recovers tithed grain for the townsfolk to plant.
Meanwhile, Godfrey's actions have stirred up the northern barons, who march to meet King John and demand the signing of a charter of rights. Having realised Godfrey's deception, and knowing he must reunite his people to meet an imminent French invasion, the King agrees. While searching for Robin in Nottingham, Godfrey fights with Sir Walter. Sir Walter is surprisingly skilful with a weapon, but being blind, is no match for Godfrey, who kills him.
Meanwhile, the French soldiers barricade all the townspeople in a building and burn it, except for Marian, who is under guard in another house. She kills her guard and escapes with the help of the village boys, who had recently been thieving and running wild in Sherwood Forest. The King's army rides down into Nottingham and begins engaging the French, while Marian and the boys break open the house where the villagers are locked up. The French are subdued and Robin manages to discover when and where King Philip is invading.
The film climaxes on the beach below the Cliffs of Dover, with an attempted French invasion opposed by an English army. In the midst of the chaos Marian attempts to kill Godfrey, but he gains the upper hand and prepares to kill her. However, Robin intervenes in the nick of time and he himself duels with Godfrey in the water. He is pushed between two boats, and has to submerge himself, and Godfrey manages to escape. When the English appear to be victorious, Godfrey attempts to save himself by fleeing on horseback, but Robin shoots an arrow from long distance, piercing Godfrey's neck. When King John sees the English cheering for Robin instead of John, he senses a major threat to his power. Therefore, in the final scenes, King John not only reneges on his promise to sign the Charter of the Forest but also declares Robin to be an outlaw, on the charge (usually punishable by death) of impersonating a knight. In response to this, Robin moves to Sherwood Forest with Lady Marian and his friends to form what will become the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest. The ending scenes are narrated by Marian, musing on how good life is in the Greenwood without the political problems and taxes of King John. As the concluding title scroll says, "So the legend begins."
- Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride / Robin Hood, a good-hearted archer who becomes involved in a great struggle. This marks Crowe's fifth collaboration with Scottnb 1
- Cate Blanchett as Lady Marian, the strong-willed, intelligent widow of Sir Robert Loxley. She becomes Robin Hood's love interest. Marian takes on the responsibility of managing her aging father-in-law's debt-ridden estate and lean harvests, a situation made difficult by an unsympathetic Church, the greedy and lecherous Sheriff of Nottingham, and the recurring runaway children in Sherwood forest who frequently raid the grain storehouses in Peperharrow. Sienna Miller was originally cast in the part, but was dropped from the production.4
- Mark Strong as Sir Godfrey, King John's henchman and the main antagonist, Godfrey is portrayed as cruel, ruthless and diabolically clever. Although he serves John, he intends to ally himself with the French and seize power for himself.5 When interviewed in November 2008, Strong stated the character was originally called Conrad and was based on Guy of Gisbourne. He described the original character as having blond hair and a disfigurement from being struck by a crossbow bolt.6
- Oscar Isaac as King John of England, younger brother of Richard. Vain, selfish and fiery-tempered, he is nevertheless brave, self-assured and darkly charismatic.5
- Mark Lewis Jones as Thomas Longstride, Robin's father, a stonemason and philosopher.
- Mark Addy as Friar Tuck
- William Hurt as William Marshal7
- Danny Huston as King Richard the Lionheart
- Eileen Atkins as Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Richard and King John's mother. She makes no secret of loving Richard more than John and she and John have an antagonistic relationship as a result. Vanessa Redgrave was originally cast for the part, but pulled out after the death of her daughter, actress Natasha Richardson.8
- Max von Sydow as Sir Walter Loxley
- Jonathan Zaccaï as Philip II of France
- Matthew Macfadyen as the Sheriff of Nottingham9
- Kevin Durand as Little John10
- Léa Seydoux as Isabella of Angoulême, the French king's niece whom John marries after annulling his first marriage to sire an heir and gain a claim to the Castilian throne. She and John have a loving and affectionate relationship, despite his self-absorption.5
- Scott Grimes as Will Scarlet.10
- Alan Doyle as Allan A'Dayle; Crowe enlisted Doyle to play the merry men's minstrel, having collaborated with him on the album My Hand, My Heart.11
- Douglas Hodge as Sir Robert Loxley
- Denis Menochet as Adhemar
- Velibor Topic as Belvedere
- Jessica Raine as Isabel of Gloucester, John's first wife, whom he divorces.
In January 2007, Universal Studios and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment acquired a spec script written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, creators of the TV series Sleeper Cell. Their script portrayed a more sympathetic Sheriff of Nottingham and less virtuous Robin Hood, who becomes involved in a love triangle with Lady Marion. The writers received a seven-figure deal for the purchase. Actor Russell Crowe was cast into the role of Robin Hood with a fee of $20 million against 20% of the gross.12 The following April, Ridley Scott was hired to direct Nottingham.13 He had attempted to get rights for himself and 20th Century Fox, but had previously collaborated with Grazer on American Gangster and signed on as director rather than producer.14 Scott was not a fan of previous film versions of Robin Hood, saying "the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks's Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes was quite a comic".15
Scott's dissatisfaction with the script led him to delay filming, and during 2008 it was rewritten into a story about Robin Hood becoming an outlaw, with the position of sheriff as part of the story. Scott dropped the latter notion and Nottingham was retitled to reflect the more traditional angle.
In June, screenwriter Brian Helgeland was hired to rewrite the script by Reiff and Voris.16 Producer Marc Shmuger explained Scott had a different interpretation of the story from "the script, [which] had the sheriff of Nottingham as a CSI-style forensics investigator".14 Scott elaborated the script, portraying the Sheriff of Nottingham as being Richard the Lionheart's right-hand man, who returns to England to serve Prince John after Richard's assassination. Though Scott felt John "was actually pretty smart, he got a bad rap because he introduced taxation so he's the bad guy in this", and the Sheriff would have been torn between the "two wrongs" of a corrupt king and an outlaw inciting anarchy.17 Locations were sought in North East England including Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, and Kielder Forest. A portion of filming was intended to take place in Northumberland. As a result of the WGA strike, production was put on hold.18 Scott sought to begin production in 2008 for a release in 2009.19
Filming was scheduled to begin in August in Sherwood Forest if the 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike did not take place,20 for release on 26 November 2009. By July, filming was delayed,21 and playwright Paul Webb was hired to rewrite the script.14 The film was moved to 2010.22 The Sheriff of Nottingham's character was then merged with Robin.23 Scott explained Robin "has to retire to the forest to resume his name Robin. So he was momentarily the Sheriff of Nottingham."24 Hedgeland returned to rewrite, adding an opening where Robin witnesses the Sheriff dying in battle, and takes over his identity.25 Scott chose to begin filming in February 2009 in forests around London, having discovered many trees which had not been pollarded.15 Scott was also pleased that the 200-acre (0.81 km2) Nottinghamshire set that was built during 2008 had aged into the landscape.26 By February 2009, Scott revealed Nottingham had become his version of Robin Hood, as he had become dissatisfied with the idea of Robin starting as the Sheriff.27
Filming began on 30 March 2009.5 In June and July, the crew filmed at Freshwater West, in Pembrokeshire, Wales.29 The arrival of the dead king's cog (boat), accompanied by Robin and his men, at the Tower of London was filmed at Virginia Water, where a partial mock-up of the Tower was built. Extensive scenes from the film were filmed on the Ashridge Estate, Little Gaddesden, on the Hertfordshire/Buckinghamshire border.30 Filming of the siege of Castle Chalus took place at the Bourne Wood at Farnham, Surrey during July and August.31 Filming also took place at Dovedale near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.32
The battering ram used during the filming at the Bourne Wood in Surrey, which was nicknamed 'Rosie' by the film crew and is worth £60,000, was donated by Russell Crowe to a Scottish charity, the Clanranald Trust to be used for battle re-enactments at a fort named Duncarron, built in a forest near the Carron Reservoir in North Lanarkshire.33
The film was released on 12 May 2010 in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, and was also the opening film at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival the same day. It was released in a further 23 countries the following day, among them Australia, and an additional 17 countries on 14 May 2010, among them the United States and Canada. It was thus released in 52 countries within three days. However, it was not released in Japan until 10 December 2010.334
Robin Hood was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 20 September 2010 in the UK,35 and the following day in the US.36 While the UK home media releases only consisted of the extended 'Director's Cut' version (16 additional minutes), the US DVD and Blu-ray discs consisted of both the 'Director's Cut' version and the shorter theatrical version.37
On its opening week the film took £5,750,332 in the UK, ahead of Iron Man 2 and $36,063,385 in the US,38 and grossed a total of £15,381,416 in the UK, $104,516,000 in the US and $321,669,741 worldwide.39 The box-office figures were seen as somewhat of a disappointment though films set in medieval times tend to fare poorly and Robin Hood actually ranks as the second highest-grossing medieval film.40
Critical reaction to Robin Hood has been mixed, with the film holding a 43% rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 238 reviews with an average rating of 5.4/10.41 Another review aggregator, Metacritic, rates the film at 53% based on a normalised rating of 40 reviews.42
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of four, writing that "little by little, title by title, innocence and joy is being drained out of the movies."43 Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News felt that "the problem with Russell Crowe's new take on the legend is that it has one muddy boot in history and the other in fantasy. The middling result is far from a bull's-eye."44 David Roark of Relevant Magazine accused Scott of replacing depth with detail and manipulative themes, like vengeance and unjust war, and stated that Scott had sucked the life out of a cherished fable, writing that "Scott has turned a myth, a concept essentially, into a history which emerges as dry, insensible clutter."45
Among the film's more positive reviews, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "Scott has great command of his action sequences" and praised his "sophisticated approach to the material."46 Ty Burr of the Boston Globe called the film "smart, muscular entertainment" and wrote that Crowe "possesses a presence and authority to make you forget all about Kevin Costner."47 Lou Lumenick of the New York Post called Robin Hood "head and shoulders above the sort of lightheaded epics Hollywood typically offers during the summer season."48
Russell Crowe received criticism from the British media for his variable accent during the film. Empire said his accent was occasionally Scottish,49 while Total Film thought there were also times when it sounded Irish.50 Mark Lawson, while interviewing Crowe on BBC Radio 4, suggested there were hints of Irish in his accent, which angered Crowe who described this as "bollocks".515253
A number of reviewers have criticised historical inaccuracies in the film. In The New York Times, A. O. Scott complained that the film made "a hash of the historical record".54 In The Guardian, Alex von Tunzelmann complained that the film was filled with historical impossibilities and anachronisms. She notes that Richard the Lionheart was indeed fighting in France in 1199, but that he had actually come back from the Holy Land seven years earlier, so it is inaccurate to depict him fighting in France on his way back from the Holy Land in 1199, as is the case in the film.55
|2011||People's Choice Award||Favourite Action Film||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Stunt Ensemble||Nominated|
Ridley Scott indicated he had been considering further Robin Hood films, in an interview with The Times on 4 April 2010, stating, "Honestly, I thought why not have the potential for a sequel?"56 and, "Let's say we might presume there's a sequel." At the world premiere in Cannes, Russell Crowe declared he was willing, "if I had the opportunity to address what happens next with Ridley and Cate, then great, let's do it."57
- Fritz, Ben (16 May 2010). "First Look: 'Robin Hood' wobbly in U.S. but hits target overseas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "Robin Hood (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
- IMDb: Release dates for Robin Hood. Retrieved 3 February 2013
- Lee-Potter, Adam (16 May 2010). "Russell Crowe: Kevin Costner's Prince of Thieves was like a long Bon Jovi video". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 7 November 2010. "Sienna Miller was lined up to play Maid Marion but was replaced at the last minute by Cate Blanchett.“Look, Sienna would have been great,” he says. “Every actor brings their own stuff. But I think Sienna is too young...Not that it was my fault. It wasn't my call. It's more that I’m too old and fat.”"
- "Ridley Scott's Robin Hood film begins production" (Press release). In Contention. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
- Reynolds, Simon (10 November 2008). "Strong joins Ridley Scott's 'Nottingham'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
- Borys Kit (12 April 2009). "William Hurt jousting for Robin Hood role". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 April 2009.dead link
- "Redgrave withdraws from Robin Hood". Contact Music. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- Peter Sciretta (24 April 2009). "Ridley Scott Casts Matthew Macfadyen as The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood". SlashFilm. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
- Kit, Borys (9 March 2009). "Trio join Ridley Scott's Robin Hood film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 March 2009.dead link
- McDowell, Adam (5 March 2009). "Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle to play one of Russell Crowe's merry men". National Post. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
- Fleming, Michael; Diane Garrett (31 January 2007). "Universal flies with Crowe". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
- Fleming, Michael (29 April 2007). "Scott set for 'Nottingham'". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
- Goldstein, Patrick (7 August 2008). "'Nottingham': Will Russell Crowe ever romp in Sherwood Forest?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
- Pearce, Garth (9 November 2008). "Russell Crowe to toughen up Robin Hood". The Times (London). Retrieved 11 November 2008. "I am trying to think of the last good one," said Scott. "Errol Flynn? A bit cheesy? A big cheese. God bless him. Kevin Costner? In the wig, you mean? The one I thought was the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks's Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes [who played Robin] was quite a comic."
- Kit, Borys (5 June 2007). "Helgeland new sheriff of 'Nottingham'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- Adler, Shawn (22 October 2007). "Grazer Calls Scott's 'Nottingham' The 'Gladiator' of Robin Hood Movies". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- "Sir Ridley Scott puts big budget movie on hold". Shields Gazette (Johnston Press). 10 January 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- Masterson, Lawrie (5 January 2008). "An alliance to Crowe about". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
- Eller, Claudia; Richard Verrier (24 June 2008). "Strike threat creates a suspense drama for Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
- Kilday, Gregg (27 July 2008). "Ridley Scott's 'Nottingham' hits delay". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- McClintock, Pamela (10 December 2008). "'Wolfman,' 'Nottingham' delayed". Variety. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
- Horowitz, Josh (27 September 2008). "BREAKING: Russell Crowe Will Play Robin Hood AND The Sheriff In Ridley Scott’s ‘Nottingham’". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
- Reynolds, Simon (11 November 2008). "Scott explains Crowe's 'Nottingham' role". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
- Horowitz, Josh (1 December 2008). "Brian Grazer Reveals 'Nottingham' Plot Points, Sets Record Straight on Russell Crowe Confusion". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
- Sams, Christine (1 February 2009). "An epic of merrymen". The Sun-Herald.
- Carroll, Larry (17 February 2009). "Ridley Scott Reveals New Name For 'Nottingham' And It's Back To Basics". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
- "Freshwater West filming". Martin McDowell. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Extras queue for Robin Hood roles". BBC News. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
- "How the National Trust came to the aid of Robin Hood". National Trust. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
- "Surrey Film Locations". Surrey Life. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Russell Crowe in Ashbourne". BBC Derby. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- Charlie, Allan. "Russell Crowe Helps a friend with a cause". The Clanranald Trust website.
- "ロビン・フッド公式サイト". Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Amazon UK: Robin Hood – Extended Director's Cut (DVD). Retrieved 3 February 2013
- Amazon US: Robin Hood (Single-Disc Unrated Director's Cut) (2010). Retrieved 3 February 2013
- Kauffman, Jeffrey (15 September 2010). "Robin Hood Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Box-Office for the film (Robin Hood)". Screenrush. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Robin Hood (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "'Gulliver,' 'Persia,' 'Narnia' Rank Among the Big Botches of 2010". Box Office Mojo. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Robin Hood Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- "Robin Hood (2010): Reviews". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- "Robin Hood :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Sun Times Media Group.
- Neumaier, Joe (11 May 2010). "Robin Hood". Daily News (New York).
- "Robin Hood—Review". Relevant Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- Review: Gritty variation on 'Robin Hood' Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2010
- Robin Hood Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 14 May 2010
- 'Robin Hood' a sure shot! Lou Lumenick, New York Post, 14 May 2010
- Jolin, Dan. "Reviews: Robin Hood". Empire. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- Andy Lowe. "Reviews: Robin Hood". Total Film Magazine. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- "Russell Crowe angered by 'Irish' Robin Hood jibe". Agence France-Presse. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- John Plunkett (14 May 2010). "Russell Crowe puts accent on acrimony". London: The Guardian (blog). Retrieved 14 May 2010. (Includes audio file)
- Russell Crowe, Ashes to Ashes and the Archbishop of Canterbury
- Scott, A. O. (13 May 2010). "Rob the Rich? Give to the Poor? Oh, Puh-leeze!". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Von Tunzelmann, Alex (23 September 2010). "Reel history special: Ridley Scott's Robin Hood – wide of the mark?". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- Lawrence, Will (4 April 2010). "Behind the scenes of a brand new Robin Hood". The Times (London).
- ""Robin Hood" opens Cannes, Crowe hints at sequel". Reuters. 13 May 2010.
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- Official website
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- Robin Hood at Metacritic