British folklore legend Robin Hood has had his story retold by so many different people and with so many different interpretations. The hero has been played by the likes of Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe and – in the all-singing, all-dancing Robin Hood: Men in Tights – by Cary Elwes. There’s something about a hero who steals from the rich and gives to the poor that just has timeless appeal.
The Robin Hood story was most recently adapted for TV by the BBC in 2006 and ran for three seasons. It wasn’t of the greatest quality but at least the actors spoke in approximations of a Nottingham accent. Now BBC America is making its own stab at bringing the man in the hood back, but this time there’s a new twist in the tale.
Deadline reports that BBC America is developing Nottingham, a TV series in which the characters of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham are the same person. The Sheriff of Nottingham’s wife is killed by a group of King John’s men, who are not punished for the crime afterwards. Furious at this injustice, the Sheriff of Nottingham maintains his image of loyalty to the king by day, but by night becomes a hooded crusader and uses the intelligence gained from his high position to attack King John where it hurts.
Behind the secret identity of Robin Hood, Nottingham steals from the royal coffers and organizes raids on the King’s loyalists and allies, distributing the wealth he steals among the starving peasants of the land, eventually stirring up a rebellion in an effort to change the course of English history.
Nottingham is being written by Cole Hadden, who recently took on another famous villain by creating the NBC show Dracula, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the lead role. The show will be produced by Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment, with executive producers John Davis and John Fox (The Blacklist).
The concept of a rich guy with a secret identity as hero of the people certainly feeds into the comic book fever that’s around at the moment, and a new series that puts a spin on the classic Robin Hood story sounds a lot more interesting than yet another straight adaptation.
We’ll keep you updated on Nottingham as the project develops.