Ridley Scott’s interpretation of the Robin Hood mythos certainly went through its share of changes during the journey from a Nottingham script treatment to the finished film we’ve seen in trailers. While some of us may still be mourning the loss of a sympathetic Sheriff of Nottingham, the choice to follow a more traditional Robin Hood story will definitely make Scott’s film more accessible to audiences.

Though moviegoers have yet to see Robin Hood, Scott is confident that the changes have positioned the film to do well at the box-office – as well as make room for a sequel.

“It is the beginnings of how the man becomes known as Robin the Hood. You don’t really get that until the last few minutes. When you realize that ‘Ah, this is who he is.’ Let’s say we might presume there’s a sequel.”

Robin Hood is no stranger to origin stories: most recently, Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves showed audiences the evolution of a spoiled rich kid to fearless champion against injustice – but, like most Robin Hood films, the journey of Costner’s Robin of Locksley had a relatively definitive end.

So, where could Scott take Robin Hood once the traditional wrongs have been righted?  The director already appears to have a clear idea:

“Honestly, I thought why not have the potential for a sequel, particularly if it is a genre that you absolutely love and has never been fully explored? If there were to be a sequel to Robin Hood, you would have a constant enemy throughout, King John, and you would follow his reign of 17 years, and the signing of Magna Carta could be Robin’s final act.”

It’d certainly be interesting to see Scott take Robin Hood a bit further than most audiences are accustomed to; most film versions of the Robin Hood legacy follow similar narrative archs. As a result, many moviegoers have a little sense that the actual variety of stories under the umbrella of the Robin Hood legend are fairly diverse.

Nothing could emphasize this point more than the amount of buzz around the question of whether or not Crowe – or any other merry men – would be donning tights for the film. A question that Crowe has repeatedly addressed:

“There are no tights in this film. They weren’t invented until quite a few hundred years after when the story takes place. We start our story in 1199. Tights don’t come into play until the 1600s. I do apologize to those who will be disappointed that there are no tights.”

In the end, the chances of a Robin Hood sequel are dependent on how Scott’s version of the hero sits with audiences when it premieres at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

POMPEII

In the meantime, Scott will be producing a four-hour TV movie adaptation of the Robert Harris novel Pompeii. Prior to the screen actors guild strike in 2007, Scott had been teamed with Roman Polanski on a Pompeii feature film project, with Scarlett Johansson and Orlando Bloom rumored as the leads.

The Pompeii story centers around the historical eruption of Mount Vesuvius through the eyes of fictional character Marcus Attilius Primus, a water engineer who discovers that problems with the area’s aqueduct are merely symptoms of a much larger crisis yet to occur.

Sir Ridley’s Scott Free Production Company offers a bit of insight into what audiences can expect from the film:

“The creation of worlds – specifically those historical worlds which continue to capture the popular imagination – is what we love to do and do best. Pompeii is a strong and compelling character drama set against a backdrop of a flourishing but ultimately doomed civilization – exactly what makes great event television.”

No release date has been announced for the project, and it’s unclear how much, if any, of the original Polanski/Scott adaptation will be present in the TV movie version when it finally erupts into living rooms around the world.

What do you think about the possibility of Robin Hood 2? What about the direction Scott wants to take the story? Does Pompeii sound interesting to you?

Robin Hood (sans tights) is scheduled for release on May 14, 2010.

Source: The Times Online, THR, Empire Online