Shared universes - as in collections of movies and/or TV shows set in the same universes - are definitely starting to become a trend in Hollywood right now, though we've already broken down why not all shared universes are made equally - and that's just in terms of superhero properties, which at least have decades of comic book lore to draw inspiration from. A shared universe makes less sense when the property's sustainability is already in doubt (see: the proposed Ghostbusters universe).
Sony, for example, has yet to prove that its planned Spider-Man Film Universe is viable, what with developing Amazing Spider-Man spinoff movies such as Sinister Six and Venom not being guaranteed to hit it big at the box office. However, that hasn't stopped the studio from contemplating making another, far more questionable, shared movie universe.
The property that Sony's eying for a shared movie universe treatment, believe it or not, is Robin Hood. THR is reporting that the studio is in talks to make a seven-figure deal to purchase a pitch for a Robin Hood universe, wherein Robin Hood and his Merry Men - Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlett - are re-envisioned as being an Avengers-style team of heroes from England's Middle Ages, with each getting their own solo film in addition to one (or more) "team-ups."
Mind you, Robin and Co. wouldn't be so much superheroes in the traditional sense, but would instead resemble characters from such action franchises as Mission: Impossible and Fast and the Furious (in terms of them having similar "super-human" abilities). In other words, this new cinematic take on the Robin Hood legend would play out closer to an old-school swashbuckler, rather than a gritty and "realistic" vision of the mythos (think director Ridley Scott's 2010 film, for the latter).
This Robin Hood universe pitch, which is titled simply Hood, comes from screenwriters Cory Goodman and Jeremy Lott - the duo behind the developing sci-fi comic book adaptation Lore, which has Dwayne Johnson (loosely) attached to headline. Goodman is also currently working on the script for a semi-reboot of the Underworld franchise and co-penned the in-production Vin Diesel supernatural adventure The Last Witch Hunter. However, his sole produced script to date is the critically-derided Priest.
Robin Hood's merry men aren't exactly known as the most complex sidekicks around (even being as likable as they generally are), so the claim that any one could carry a film on their own - as successfully as a modern superhero and/or any of Universal's classic monsters - is a stretch, right off the bat. Movie adaptations of the Robin Hood story aren't exactly in short supply either, so first Sony would need to deliver a new iteration of the legend that satisfies both creatively and financially - before the studio even considers spinoffs for the individual characters, that is.
With the right filmmaking talent in place, though, who knows; if the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) from Snow White and the Huntsman is deserving of his own action movie (one written and directed by Frank Darabont, no less), then perhaps someone like Friar Tuck or Maid Marian could be too. Feel free and let us know what you think of the idea of a Robin Hood shared film universe, in the comments section of the article.
We'll bring you more information on Hood (and the universe it's meant to give rise to) when we have it.