New Universal Films to Watch Out For: Robin Hood, MacGruber

Universal Studios has posted synopses of some of their major 2010 films, and two are piquing our interest here at Screen Rant.

The first is "Untitled Robin Hood Adventure," directed by Ridley Scott of Blade Runner, Alien, Black Hawk Down, and I could keep going, fame. Russell Crowe steps into the tights (well, more like armor this time around looking at the Crowe's Robin Hood costume) of the mythic English folk hero who enacted his own economic stimulus package for the peasants of Nottingham village.

This story has come to the big screen countless times, twice in one year even, with 1991 seeing Patrick Bergin in Robin Hood matching barbs with Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Some would say neither film, which played up the bandit's romantic soul and added period realism, hit the bull's-eye, and still consider Errol Flynn's swashbuckling The Adventures of Robin Hood the gold standard. Scott's version sounds a bit bloodier than that classic:

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 Marion (Oscar winner Cate Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion 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.

Lethal mercenary skills? Have Friar Tuck and Little John been taking lessons from The Fraternity? Seriously though, archery and swordplay aside, there's a lot to crow about here (excuse the pun). Crowe and Scott have an established track record with both action hits like Gladiator and gritty dramas like American Gangster, while Blanchett brings surprising depth to even the slightest roles. And with the current economic situation not looking to ease anytime soon, this tale is ripe for reinvention.

The second synopsis that sounds promising is MacGruber, a film based on the Saturday Night Live skit, starring Will Forte, Ryan Phillippe, Kristen Wiig, and Val Kilmer.

Before you start the usual heckling that comes when an SNL skit tries to jump to the big screen, check this out:

In the 10 years since his fiancée was killed, special op MacGruber has sworn off a life of fighting crime with his bare hands. But when he learns that his country needs him to find a nuclear warhead that's been stolen by his sworn enemy, Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer), MacGruber figures he's the only one tough enough for the job.

I love it. Kilmer has had comedy chops since his debut in the hilarious slapstick Top Secret! and with Wiig and Phillippe on board as part of MacGruber's elite team, this one sounds like a can't miss.

Word is the movie's getting an R rating for violence as well as its script, which is apparently chock full of quotable, NSFW lines. Will MacGruber join the ranks of The Blues Brothers and Wayne's World of actually watchable, funny, successful films? I hope so.

Source: Universal Studios

Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoeinx Joker
Joaquin Phoenix Evokes Heath Ledger In New Joker Footage

More in Movie News