Taron Egerton promises that his Robin Hood will be different to previous takes on the character - and the mythology in general. The Welsh actor is currently in cinemas with Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to his breakout hit The Secret Service. But while that's become a bona fide franchise in its own right, making him a star and putting him alongside a host of Oscar winners, he's not going to be just a spy.
The next big film for Egerton will be Robin Hood, an origin story that looks at how the humanitarian Loxley thief came to be. The film puts him alongside Jamie Foxx as Little John, Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck - and if that didn't already sound different enough, the actor says it's moving away from a lot of what's in many previous takes on the character.
Screen Rant recently sat down with Taron to talk about Kingsman 2 and asked about how his version of Robin Hood will stand out from what's come before. In short, he said that it will be moving away from the iconography everyone knows:
"I think it will be less self-reverential than the Robin Hoods that have come before. I think the problem with Robin Hood sometimes is that... I love the Kevin Costner one and I think there were some great moments in the Russell Crowe one as well, but they're very, very, very 'Robin Hood-y'. Ours is less Robin Hood-y. It's grittier, it's darker, it's a Robin Hood for the 21st Century. If you've seen Peaky Blinders, you'll know something of the tone of it as it's the same director."
The actor carefully avoids throwing shade on the previous iterations but makes clear that what he's working on is going to be very different prospect. There's unlikely to be the green hat and tights that are typically associated with the character and instead a grounded feel that posits what a "from rich to poor" outlaw would operate like in real life. This was somewhat true of the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott film in 2010, although as Egerton alludes that isn't too well-regarded.
His key vision seems to be a focus on the darkness of Peaky Blinders, a very realistic gangster drama set in 1920s Birmingham. That said, the actor has also said the film will be "very funny", so there's sure to be some tonal balance.
In our interview with Egerton, we also touched on the film's title. Throughout pre-production, the movie was known as Robin Hood: Origins, which was changed before the 2017 production to the simple character name. Egerton didn't elaborate on reasons behind the alteration but did seem rather relieved the film had dropped the somewhat controversial subtitle.
Going away from what audiences know about Hood while having such a definitive title may sound rather bold, but considering the number of similarly inspired projects on the way - Margot Robbie's Maid Marion film, Justin Lin and Alex Kurtzman's modern take, and a future-set adventure - going down-and-dirty may be one way to really stand out.
- Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) release date: Sep 22, 2017
- Robin Hood (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018