Universal has made an official press release regarding some new casting choices for their upcoming Russell Crowe Robin Hood project.

It was just two weeks ago when we found out that Scott Grimes, Kevin Durand and Allan Doyle would be playing some of Robin Hood’s Merry Men. In addition to those characters, the roles of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Sir Godfrey, French Princess Isabella and King John have now also been cast.

I’ve copied just the casting section press release for you to see:


Joining Crowe and Blanchett for the film are Oscar® winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Atonement) as John and Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine; Mark Strong (Body of Lies, Stardust) as King John’s vicious henchman, Sir Godfrey; Oscar Isaac (Che, Body of Lies) as King John; and Léa Seydoux (13 French Street, upcoming Inglourious Basterds) as the woman who will become queen, French Princess Isabella. Playing key members of Robin’s band of men are Scott Grimes (television’s ER, American Dad) as Welshman Will Scarlet; Kevin Durand (upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 3:10 to Yuma) as Robin’s right-hand, Scotsman Little John; and newcomer Alan Doyle as their troubadour, Irishman Allan Adayle.

And here’s a new synopsis for the movie which is quite bit different than what Ridley Scott had originally promised for this film – an original take which focused on the Sheriff of Nottingham and portrayed him as the hero of the story.

The untitled Robin Hood adventure chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard’s army against the French. Upon Richard’s death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marian (Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marian and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.

As Screen Rant writer Niall Browne pointed out, this Robin Hood story is not as interesting compared to what they original had planned to offer audiences. It’s been done before and the original plan sounded so much better.

As for the casting decisions we’ve seen so far, they’ve given credit to actors who have been making waves in recent times with prominent roles in major mainstream movies. Two of these actors are personal favorites of mine, Canadian actor Kevin Durand and English-born Mark Strong, and I look forward to seeing them in this movie.


Mark Strong will play Sir Godfrey

Although there is some criticism being aimed at the producers of this film for not casting English-born actors for many of these roles, I personally am in favor of these choices.  I understand the complaints to a certain extent, but I think they’ve cast great actors for these roles and they might just pull off some nice accents in the end (better than Kevin Costner I’m sure).

What do you think of the cast for the next Robin Hood movie?

Production has begun on the untitled Robin Hood Adventure and the movie is set to release May 14, 2010.

Source: In Contention