There has been no shortage of remakes and reboots over the past decade or so, and that trend will continue for another few years yet. One character that has enjoyed consistent exposure in terms of storytelling is Robin Hood, a legendary figure from history that everyone from Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner has taken a run at portraying. Taron Egerton is next up as the man in tights, though one considerably younger than most of his predecessors. Robin Hood: Origins will be directed by Otto Bathurst, and produced by the same company that worked on John Wick, and it’s set a tentative release date for 2018.
Collider recently sat down with producer Basil Iwanyk of Thunder Road Pictures, asking about the project and why it seemed like the right time to bring Robin Hood back into the public eye:
“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 bullshit 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!’”
There does seem to be a niche for humanising mythical people in recent times, as evidenced by Guy Ritchie’s similarly medieval endeavour, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. But how to bring someone so traditionally entwined with legend into reality? The obvious thing to do was to turn to some spectacular but grounded fight choreography for inspiration, which we can assume the young Robin Hood will put to good use. Iwanyk referenced the work done in action flick John Wick in orchestrating the Robin Hood: Origins stunts:
“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.”
Judging by this, it sounds like Egerton’s Robin Hood might be a little more deadly than whimsical. Fortunately, he’ll be joined by several other actors with imposing amounts of gravitas as well, apparently collated painstakingly by the director:
“Otto 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.”
It seems like all the ingredients are there for a blockbuster fit to spawn the many sequels the premise demands.
Robin Hood: Origins is scheduled to be released on March 23rd 2018 in IMAX.