Lionsgate is bring a certain famous bow and arrow-wielding vigilante/warrior for justice – one who was around well before Oliver Queen/Green Arrow and Clint Barton/Hawkeye – back to the big screen. The studio is indeed moving ahead with Robin Hood: Origins, a re-telling of the origin story for the eponymous folk hero that stars Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and has the potential to kickoff a new franchise, should it prove to be a hit. Leading the way behind the camera is director Otto Barthurst; a helmsman whose resume includes episodes of such TV shows as Black Mirror and the period crime drama, Peaky Blinders.
Joining Egerton in Robin Hood: Origins onscreen is Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as Little John – who, in this version of the story, is a Moorish commander – as well as the Fifty Shades franchise star Jamie Dornan as Robin’s half-brother, Will Scarlett. Every Robin Hood also needs a Sheriff of Nottingham to face-off with and it appears that Egerton now has his – in the form of the same actor who plays the main antagonist in this week’s big new release, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Variety is reporting that Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the Imperial Director Orson Krennic in Rogue One, is lined up to play the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Origins. Mendelsohn’s body of work extended well beyond his Rogue One role and includes his Primetime Emmy-winning turn in the Netflix drama TV series Bloodline, as well as supporting roles in such movies as Animal Kingdom, The Dark Knight Rises and The Place Beyond the Pines. The character actor continues to line up big projects too, between his Robin Hood role and his role in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One adaptation.
Lionsgate will be releasing the sequel John Wick: Chapter Two in 2017, along with a big screen reboot of the Power Rangers franchise and a new installment (the eighth overall) in the Saw franchise. It’s not entirely clear how much the studio is banking on Robin Hood: Origins performing well enough to give it another franchise to add to this collection. However, the film was scripted by Joby Harold: the co-writer of Warner Bros. and Guy Ritchie’s upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – which was, in fact, green-lit in the hope of getting a multi-movie saga off the ground. Lionsgate may have brought Harold onboard for its Robin Hood reboot with a similar goal in mind.
The Robin Hood story has been told and re-told so many times in film and television that as a “brand”, having Robin Hood in your film’s title doesn’t necessarily guarantee a success. Universal found that out the hard way with director Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood – a film that made $321 million worldwide, but largely from the overseas box office against a $200 million price tag. Robin Hood: Origins boasts a talented cast – all the more so now that Mendelsohn is onboard – and could make for a fun historical variation on the modern superhero movie mold; so best to not count the film out already, for those reasons alone.
Robin Hood: Origins opens in U.S. theaters on March 23rd, 2018.