Little John trains Robin of Loxley to battle the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in the official trailer for this year's Robin Hood movie adaptation. Directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders), the film's cast includes Kingsman's Taron Egerton as the noble thief Robin himself, along with Jamie Foxx as his Moorish Commander from the Crusades-turned vigilante mentor, Little John. Meanwhile, Rogue One and Ready Player One alum Ben Mendelsohn settles comfortably into yet another villain role here, as the dastardly Sheriff whom Robin and John battle to protect the exploited people of England.
The Robin Hood teaser trailer skimps over the finer points of how Robin transitions from being a warrior in the Crusades to being a masked thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, in favor of highlighting the film's "gritty battlefield exploits [and] mind-blowing fight choreography" (as the synopsis puts it). As such, the official trailer dives deeper into Robin's time training under John's supervision and fine-tuning his mad archery skills. For more on that, watch the new Robin Hood trailer in the space above.
Between the teaser and trailer, Lionsgate is selling Robin Hood as a Batman Begins-esque medieval hero origin story, complete with highly stylized action and set pieces. It only makes sense, seeing as Robin Hood films past have always reflected the popular tastes in action movies for any particular decade. Case in point: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a swashbuckler in the style popular in the '90s, 2010's Robin Hood took its cues from the historical epics of the 2000s (many of which, like the film, were directed by Ridley Scott), and the 2018 Robin Hood is designed to stand out in the golden era of the superhero film.
However good or bad the film turns out, Robin Hood (2018) certainly has its work cut out for it at the box office. The film's release date has been pushed back a few times already, but it's currently set to premiere in theaters on the same day as the sequels Creed II and Ralph Breaks the Internet. With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Steve McQueen's buzzed about crime/thriller Widows arriving less than a week earlier, Robin Hood will probably struggle to keep its head above the water, given the heavy competition.
If nothing else, the action in Bathurst's Robin Hood looks slick and Egerton has already demonstrated his capacity for playing a charismatic action star in the Kingsman series. It remains to be seen if the film has anything fresh to bring to the table in terms of story, but the tale of a masked hero fighting for justice against a corrupt government official is one that (unfortunately) remains as timely and relevant as ever it were. There may yet be hope for Lionsgate's "Robin Hood Begins", for that very reason.
- Robin Hood (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018