The Robin Hood cast and crew explain what makes their retelling of the legend relevant in a new behind the scenes clip. People have been adapting the iconic folklore hero for the big screen since the silent film era and his popularity never really waned throughout the 20th century. That hasn't changed in the last nineteen years either, between the release of TV shows like BBC One's Robin Hood and Ridley Scott's 2010 film of the same name. Russell Crowe starred in the latter as Robin Longstride, an archer in King Richard's army during the Crusades who evolves into a noble outlaw, upon returning to England and rejecting Richard's corrupt successor, King John (a pre-fame Oscar Isaac).
Robin Hood (2018) also starts off with Robin as a warrior who returns home to Nottingham, disillusioned by his experience serving in the Crusades. Here, however, Robin of Luxley is a much younger man (played by Taron Egerton) who decides to steal back the money that the corrupt Cardinal Franklin (F. Murray Abraham) and Sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn) have taken from the people of England, under the guidance of his mentor: a man whose name translates roughly as "John" (Jamie Foxx). The outlaws are eventually aided in their efforts by Robin's former lover Marian (Eve Hewson) and Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan), a politician whom Marian is romantically involved with.
Directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders), Robin Hood is a version of the legend that approaches the idea of corruption within England's church and government from a more modern perspective, as these details illustrate. In our exclusive special feature from the film's upcoming release on Digital and home video, Robin Hood's stars and creatives discuss the movie's political relevance and how it deals with present-day concerns about systematic corruption, the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent, and government oppression with its retelling of the centuries-old story. Take a look in the space below.
While it bombed at the box office (taking in $83 million worldwide on a $100 million budget) and earned mixed to negative reviews from critics, many people have given Robin Hood props for updating the story's social overtones and political commentary. Part of the reason the original legend keeps being retold, over and over, is because it does inherently call attention to issues and problems that change form, but never go away. As Bathurst notes in this clip, there's always something "oppressing or subjugating or abusing" the common people or marginalized at any time in history, be they kings, churches, or some other form of government.
Those who missed Robin Hood in theaters and are interested in watching its Dark Knight-style interpretation of the classic story will have a chance to do so, beginning next week. The film releases on Digital this Tuesday, February 5, followed by its release on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD two weeks later on February 19. Robin Hood's special features will include an in-depth 7-part documentary that explores the making of the film, in addition to outtakes and deleted scenes from the movie proper.