Folk hero Robin Hood and his battle against the tyrannical crown of England has been dramatized for film and TV many times over - with the Robin Hood character having appeared most recently on such TV shows as ABC's fairy tale-blending Once Upon a Time, played by Sean Maguire. Director Ridley Scott put his own spin on Robin's "origins" with Robin Hood (2010), where the movie's namesake was played by Russell Crowe. The character's origins will be explored again in the aptly-named Robin Hood: Origins, featuring a much-younger Robin played by Kingsman: The Secret Service's Taron Egerton.
Robin Hood: Origins was originally slated to begin filming in February of this year, but was pushed back in order to allow time for Egerton to go and reprise his Kingsman role as Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin for the upcoming sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Lionsgate/Summit are now moving forward with their Robin Hood project, having gone ahead and officially claimed a theatrical release date for the swashbuckling adventure.
Deadline has confirmed that Robin Hood: Origins is now set to hit theaters on March 23rd, 2018. The live-action/animated Peter Rabbit movie is also slated to open in theaters on that day - but taking the films' different target demographics into consideration (the family crowd vs. gritty action/adventure fans), the pair should be able to coexist peacefully. Robin Hood: Origins will, however, have to battle the Alicia Vikander-headlined Tomb Raider reboot (which opens a week earlier) at the box office; then, a week later, will have additional competition in Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation.
The Robin Hood: Origins script reportedly puts a 'edgier' spin on the classic tale of how Robin Hood returned from his Crusade battles to Sherwood Forest - only to become the leader of a band of outlaws, ready and willing to fight for the rights of the common people of England, under the rule of their corrupt king. Origins was scripted by Joby Harold; who, fittingly enough, co-wrote director Guy Ritchie's upcoming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, another re-imagining that aims to imbue a centuries-old legendary hero's origin story with a more modern sensibility.
Robin Hood: Origins director Otto Barthurst has more experience directing for TV than film; though after having helmed episodes of relatively cinematic TV series such as Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders, Bathurst may find the transition to directing for the big screen easier than other seasoned TV helmers have before him. Aiding Bathurst in his efforts is a cast that, in addition to Egerton as Robin Hood, includes Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as Little John, Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey) as Will Scarlett and Eve Hewson (The Knick) as Maid Marian.
As to how many filmgoers are actually interested in seeing a new version of Robin Hood's early days depicted on the big screen (no matter how much promise it has) - check back with us in a couple years on that one.
Robin Hood: Origins opens in U.S. theaters on March 23rd, 2018.