Robin Hood (2010 film)

 

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by
Screenplay by Brian Helgeland
Story by
  • Brian Helgeland
  • Ethan Reiff
  • Cyrus Voris
Starring
Music by Marc Streitenfeld
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Pietro Scalia
Studio
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) May 14, 2010 (2010-05-14)
Running time 140 minutes (Theatrical)
156 minutes (Director’s cut)
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English
French
Budget $155 million[1]
Gross revenue $321,669,730[2]

Robin Hood is a 2010 British/American adventure film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe. It was released in the United Kingdom on 12 May 2010, after premiering at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and was released in the United States on 14 May 2010.[3]

Contents

Plot

It is 1199 and Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is a common archer in Richard the Lionheart‘s (Danny Huston) army. A veteran of the Third Crusade and Richard’s war against Philip II of France (Jonathan Zaccaï), he now takes part in the siege against Chalus Castle. Disillusioned and war-weary, he believes the King when he invites him to give an honest view of the war and the King’s conduct. After Robin gives a frank but unflattering appraisal, Richard immediately breaks his promise of no repercussions for speaking honestly and has Robin and comrades taken prisoner to be judged after ending the siege. The betrayed men decide to free themselves and desert. Following the death of Richard, Robin and two other common archers, Allan A’Dayle (Alan Doyle), Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes), as well as soldier Little John (Kevin Durand), attempt to secretly return to their homeland after fighting abroad for the past 10 years. Along the way they come across an ambush of the Royal guard by Sir Godfrey (Mark Strong), an English knight collaborating with the French. Philip of France had ordered Sir Godfrey to assassinate Richard. Having discovered the King is already slain, Sir Godfrey is chased off by the arrival of Robin and his companions. Aiming to return to England safely and richer in pocket than when they left it, Robin and his men steal the armour of the slain knights and, under the guise of noblemen, head for the English ships on the coast. Before leaving the scene of slaughter, Robin promises one of the dying knights, Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge), to return a sword to the knight’s father in Nottingham.

Upon arriving in England, Robin (who has assumed the identity of Loxley) is brought to London and chosen to inform the Royal family of the King’s death. He witnesses the coronation of King John (Oscar Isaac), the younger brother of Richard. Showing no remorse to his poor kingdom, John orders harsh taxes to be collected, sending Sir Godfrey off to the North to do so. He has no idea that Godfrey is a French agent who, using French troops, will use this Royal Decree to stir up enough unrest to cause civil war in England.

Robin and his companions head to Nottingham, where Loxley’s old and blind father Sir Walter (Max von Sydow) asks him to continue impersonating his son, in order to prevent the family lands being taken by the crown. Loxley’s widow, Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett), is initially distrustful of Robin, but soon warms to him when he recovers taxed grain for the townsfolk to plant.

Meanwhile, Godfrey’s actions have stirred up the northern barons, who march to meet King John and demand the signing of a charter of rights. Having realized Godfrey’s deception, and knowing he must reunite his people in order to meet an imminent French invasion, the King agrees. A battle follows in which Robin and the northern barons attack Godfrey’s men while the latter are ransacking Nottingham—but not before Godfrey has slain the blind Sir Walter.

The film climaxes with a French invasion on England’s Dover Beach, opposed by an English army. The English are victorious. Godfrey attempts to flee on horseback, but Robin, from long distance, puts an arrow through his neck. When King John sees the French surrendering to Robin rather than to himself, he is unhappy. Therefore, in the final scenes, King John not only reneges on his promise to sign the Charter of the Forest, but also declares Robin to be an outlaw. In response to this, Robin moves to Sherwood Forest with Lady Marian and his friends to form what will become the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest. “Thus,” as the concluding scroll says, “the legend begins.”

Cast

  • Russell Crowe plays Robin Longstride / Robin Hood, a good-hearted archer who becomes involved in a great struggle. This marks Crowe’s fifth collaboration with Scott.[nb 1]
  • Cate Blanchett as Lady Marian, the strong-willed, intelligent widow of Sir Robert Loxley. She becomes Robin Hood’s love interest. Marian takes on the responsibility of managing her aging father-in-law’s debt-ridden estate and lean harvests. A situation made difficult by an unsympathetic Church, the greedy and lecherous Sheriff of Nottingham, and the recurring runaway children in Sherwood forest who frequently raid the grain storehouses in Peperharrow. Sienna Miller was originally cast in the part, but was dropped from the production because her slender figure made Crowe look overweight in their shared scenes.[4][5]
  • Mark Strong as Sir Godfrey, King John’s henchman and the main antagonist, Godfrey is portrayed as sadistic, ruthless and diabolically clever. Although he serves John, he intends to ally himself with the French and seize power for himself.[6] When interviewed in November 2008, Strong stated the character was originally called Conrad and was based on Guy of Gisbourne. He described the original character as having blond hair and a disfigurement from being struck by a crossbow bolt.[7]
  • Oscar Isaac as King John of England, younger brother of Richard. Vain, selfish and fiery-tempered, he is nevertheless brave, self-assured and darkly charismatic.[6]
  • Mark Lewis Jones as Thomas Longstride
  • Mark Addy as Friar Tuck
  • William Hurt as William Marshal[8]
  • Danny Huston as King Richard the Lionheart
  • Eileen Atkins as Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Richard and King John’s mother. She makes no secret of loving Richard more than John and she and John have an antagonistic relationship as a result. Vanessa Redgrave was originally cast for the part, but pulled out after the death of her daughter, actress Natasha Richardson.[9]
  • Max von Sydow as Sir Walter Loxley
  • Jonathan Zaccaï as Philip II of France
  • Matthew Macfadyen as the Sheriff of Nottingham[10]
  • Kevin Durand as Little John[11]
  • Léa Seydoux as Isabella of Angoulême, the French King’s niece whom John marries after annulling his first marriage in order to sire an heir and gain a claim to the Castilian throne. She and John have a loving and affectionate relationship despite his self-absorption.[6]
  • Scott Grimes as Will Scarlet.[11]
  • Alan Doyle as Allan A’Dayle – Crowe enlisted Doyle to play the Merry Men’s minstrel, having collaborated on the album My Hand, My Heart.[12]

Production

In January 2007, Universal Studios and Brian Grazer‘s Imagine Entertainment acquired a spec script written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, creators of the TV series Sleeper Cell. Their script portrayed a more sympathetic Sheriff of Nottingham and less virtuous Robin Hood, who become involved in a love triangle with Lady Marion. The writers received a seven-figure deal for the purchase. Actor Russell Crowe was cast into the role of the Robin Hood with a salary of $20 million against 20% of the gross.[13] The following April, director Ridley Scott was hired to helm Nottingham.[14] He had attempted to get rights for himself and 20th Century Fox, but had collaborated with Grazer on American Gangster and signed on as director rather than producer.[15] Scott was not a fan of previous film versions of Robin Hood, saying “the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks‘s Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes was quite a comic”.[16]

Scott’s dissatisfaction with the script led him to delay filming, and during 2008 it was rewritten into a story about Robin Hood becoming an outlaw, with the position of sheriff as part of the story. Scott dropped the latter notion and Nottingham was retitled to reflect the more traditional angle.

In June, screenwriter Brian Helgeland was hired to rewrite the script by Reiff and Voris.[17] Producer Marc Shmuger explained Scott had a different interpretation of the story from “the script, [which] had the sheriff of Nottingham as a CSI-style forensics investigator”.[15] Scott elaborated the script, portraying the Sheriff of Nottingham as being Richard the Lionheart‘s right-hand man, who returns to England to serve Prince John after Richard’s assassination. Though Scott felt John “was actually pretty smart, he got a bad rap because he introduced taxation so he’s the bad guy in this”, and the Sheriff would have been torn between the “two wrongs” of a corrupt king and an outlaw inciting anarchy.[18] Locations were sought in North East England including Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, and Kielder Forest. A portion of filming was intended to take place in Northumberland. As a result of the WGA strike, production was put on hold.[19] Scott sought to begin production in 2008 for a release in 2009.[20]

Filming was scheduled to begin in August in Sherwood Forest if the 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike did not take place,[21] for release on November 26, 2009. By July, filming was delayed,[22] and playwright Paul Webb was hired to rewrite the script.[15] The film was moved to 2010.[23] The Sheriff of Nottingham’s character was then merged with Robin.[24] Scott explained Robin “has to retire to the forest to resume his name Robin. So he was momentarily the Sheriff of Nottingham.”[25] Hedgeland returned to rewrite, adding an opening where Robin witnesses the Sheriff dying in battle, and takes over his identity.[26] Scott chose to begin filming in February 2009 in forests around London, having discovered many trees which had not been pollarded.[16] Scott was also pleased that the 200-acre (0.81 km2) Nottinghamshire set that was built during 2008 had aged into the landscape.[27] By February 2009, Scott revealed Nottingham had become his version of Robin Hood, as he had become dissatisfied with the idea of Robin starting as the Sheriff.[28]

Filming locations gallery
Mock castle at the Bourne Wood at the end of filming, showing the burnt-out castle gate
Mock castle (Castle Chalus in the film) at the Bourne Wood at the end of filming, showing the burnt-out castle gate, Bourne Wood, Farnham, Surrey, 8 August 2009. 51°11′26.31″N 0°46′39.01″W / 51.1906417°N 0.7775028°W / 51.1906417; -0.7775028 
Burnt out castle gate and battering ram
Burnt out gate of mock castle and battering ram (nicknamed ‘Rosie’), Bourne Wood, Farnham, Surrey, 8 August 2009
Filming the fight scenes on the beach
Filming the fight scenes on the beach, Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 23. June 2009 .[29] 51°39′31.90″N 5°3′52.23″W / 51.658861°N 5.0645083°W / 51.658861; -5.0645083 
The beach filming
The beach filming, Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 23. June 2009 .[29] 

Filming began on March 30, 2009.[6] In June and July, the crew filmed at Freshwater West, in Pembrokeshire, Wales.[30] The arrival of the dead king’s cog (boat), accompanied by Robin and his men, at the Tower of London was filmed at Virginia Water, where a partial mock-up of the Tower was built. Extensive scenes from the film were filmed on the Ashridge Estate, Little Gaddesden, on the Hertfordshire/Buckinghamshire borders.[31] Filming of the siege of Castle Chalus took place at the Bourne Wood at Farnham, Surrey during July and August.[32] Filming also took place at Dovedale near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.[33]

The battering ram used during the filming at the Bourne Wood in Surrey, which was nicknamed ‘Rosie’ by the film crew and is worth £60,000, was donated by Russell Crowe to a Scottish charity, Clanranald Trust, to be used for battle re-enactments at a fort built in a forest near the Carron Reservoir in North Lanarkshire.[34]

Sequels

Ridley Scott indicated he’d been considering further Robin Hood films, in an interview with The Times on April 4, 2010, stating, “Honestly, I thought why not have the potential for a sequel?”[35] And, “Let’s say we might presume there’s a sequel.” At the world premiere in Cannes, Russell Crowe declared he was willing, “if I had the opportunity to address what happens next with Ridley and Cate, then great, let’s do it.”[36]

Release

The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it opened the festival on May 12, 2010.[3] It was released in the United Kingdom and several other European countries on May 12, in Australia on May 13, and in the United States and Canada on May 14.[37] It was not released in Japan until December 2010.[38]

Home media and director’s cut

Robin Hood was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 21, 2010 in a single disc ‘Director’s Cut’ DVD, Blu-Ray and a Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital copy combo pack. Both DVD and Blu-ray contain an unrated version of the film, as well as the theatrical version.

Reception

Critical reaction

Reception for the film has been mixed. Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 43% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 215 reviews with an average rating of 5.4/10.[39] Among Rotten Tomatoes’ “Top Critics”, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an average approval rating of 44%, based on a sample of 32 reviews.[40] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave the film 53% based on a normalized rating of 40 reviews.[41]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 stars out of 4, writing that “little by little, title by title, innocence and joy is being drained out of the movies.”[42] Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News gave the film three out of five stars, writing that “the problem with Russell Crowe’s new take on the legend is that it has one muddy boot in history and the other in fantasy. The middling result is far from a bull’s-eye.”[43]

David Roark of Relevant Magazine accused Scott of replacing depth with detail and manipulative themes, like vengeance and unjust war, and stated that Scott had sucked the life out of a cherished fable, writing that “Scott has turned a myth, a concept essentially, into a history which emerges as dry, insensible clutter.”[44]

Russell Crowe received criticism from the British media for his variable accent during the film. Empire said his accent was occasionally Scottish,[45] while Total Film thought there were also times when it sounded Irish.[46] Mark Lawson, while interviewing Crowe on BBC Radio 4, suggested there were hints of Irish in his accent, which angered Crowe who described this as “bollocks”.[47][48][49]

Some reviewers mentioned historical liberties taken in the film.[50][51] In the film, King Philip Augustus of France is shown as keen to invade England, and actually attempts it. Historically, Philip had been trying to regain English-held territory in France in a series of conflicts with Richard the Lionheart, and by 1198 Philip was on the defensive and the two kings had agreed to mediation.[52] After Richard’s death, Philip conquered Normandy and other independent territories in France, that were included in the Anglo-Norman kingdom, with John launching an invasion of France (under pressure from the English barons) instead of vice versa.[53] It was only after the English defeat at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, that the future Louis VIII of France landed on England with an army in 1216, entered London, and was proclaimed king at the cathedral, during the First Barons’ War. The film shows John negotiating a “bill of rights” immediately after becoming king, but refusing to sign it. However, the Magna Carta was in fact signed 16 years after John became king, following the civil war and significant loss of face over his reign. The less well-known supplement to the Magna Carta, the Charter of the Forest, was signed two years later, by John’s son Henry III of England.

Quentin Tarantino listed Robin Hood as one of his favorite 20 films of 2010, published by The Hollywood Reporter.[54]

Box office

The film opened #2 behind Iron Man 2 grossing an estimated $37.1 million. However, Robin Hood grossed a huge opening internationally, making $75 million outside North America.[55] As of August 5, 2010, the film has grossed $105,257,055 in the United States and Canada (33.9%) and grossed $216,400,000 in other countries (66.1%), totaling $321,669,730 worldwide.[2] The film’s box office total in U.S. and Canada was considered somewhat of a disappointment, but Box Office Mojo said that the total is not as bad as it seems because medieval movies usually suffer at the box office, and the film is actually the second highest-grossing medieval movie with $105.3 million. The only problem with film’s box office total was that Robin Hood was burdened with a hefty production budget.[56]

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Result
2011 People’s Choice Award Favorite Action Movie Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Stunt Ensemble Nominated

Notes

  1. ^ The five collaborations with Crowe and Scott are: Gladiator, A Good Year, American Gangster, Body of Lies, and Robin Hood.

References

  1. ^ Fritz, Ben (May 16, 2010). First Look: ‘Robin Hood’ wobbly in U.S. but hits target overseas. Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/05/robin-hood-wobbly-in-us-but-hits-target-overseas.html. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b “Robin Hood (2010)”. Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=nottingham.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  3. ^ a b “BBC News: Robin Hood launches Cannes Film Festival”. bbc.co.uk. 2010-05-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment_and_arts/10109692.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-14. 
  4. ^ Lee-Potter, Adam (2010-05-16). “Russell Crowe: Kevin Costner’s Prince of Thieves was like a long Bon Jovi video”. Mirror.co.uk. http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2010/05/16/russell-crowe-kevin-costner-s-prince-of-thieves-was-like-a-long-bon-jovi-video-115875-22260984/. Retrieved 2010-11-07. “Sienna Miller was lined up to play Maid Marion but was replaced at the last minute by Cate Blanchett.“Look, Sienna would have been great,” he says. “Every actor brings their own stuff. But I think Sienna is too young…Not that it was my fault. It wasn’t my call. It’s more that I’m too old and fat.”” 
  5. ^ Bates, Daniel (2009-01-13). “Sienna Miller dumped from Robin Hood film ‘because she’d make co-star Russell Crowe look old and fat'”. Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1112402/Sienna-Miller-dumped-Robin-Hood-film-shed-make-star-Russell-Crowe-look-old-fat.html. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  6. ^ a b c d “Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood film begins production” (Press release). In Contention. 2009-03-24. http://www.incontention.com/?p=4917. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2008-11-10). “Strong joins Ridley Scott’s ‘Nottingham'”. Digital Spy. http://fame.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/a135178/strong-joins-ridley-scotts-nottingham.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  8. ^ Borys Kit (2009-04-12). “William Hurt jousting for Robin Hood role”. The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3iddc0608768893d1e82e7cae7eec09ccd. Retrieved 2009-04-13. [dead link]
  9. ^ “Redgrave withdraws from Robin Hood”. Contact Music. 2009-05-19. http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/redgrave%20withdraws%20from%20robin%20hood_1103794. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  10. ^ Peter Sciretta (2009-04-24). “Ridley Scott Casts Matthew Macfadyen as The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood”. SlashFilm. http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/04/24/ridley-scott-casts-matthew-macfadyen-as-the-sheriff-of-nottingham-in-robin-hood/. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  11. ^ a b Kit, Borys (2009-03-09). “Trio join Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood film”. The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3ia82652ffac56b32e4e4fe4b83a847fe8. Retrieved 2009-03-10. [dead link]
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  16. ^ a b Pearce, Garth (2008-11-09). “Russell Crowe to toughen up Robin Hood”. The Times (London: News Corporation). http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article5114486.ece. Retrieved 2008-11-11. “I am trying to think of the last good one,” said Scott. “Errol Flynn? A bit cheesy? A big cheese. God bless him. Kevin Costner? In the wig, you mean? The one I thought was the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks’s Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes [who played Robin] was quite a comic.” 
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  21. ^ Eller, Claudia; Richard Verrier (2008-06-24). “Strike threat creates a suspense drama for Hollywood”. Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-actor24-2008jun24,0,4147025.story. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
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  23. ^ McClintock, Pamela (2008-12-10). “‘Wolfman,’ ‘Nottingham’ delayed”. Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117997153.html. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
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  35. ^ http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article7082802.ece
  36. ^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE64A6N620100513?pageNumber=1
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  40. ^ “Robin Hood (Cream of the Crop)”. Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/robin_hood_2010/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
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  43. ^ Neumaier, Joe (2010-05-11). “Robin Hood”. New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2010/05/11/2010-05-11_robin_hood_arrow_isnt_on_the_mark.html3/5 stars
  44. ^ “Robin Hood – Review”. Relevant Magazine. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/film/reviews/21555-robin-hood. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
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  49. ^ Russell Crowe, Ashes to Ashes and the Archbishop of Canterbury
  50. ^ Dean M Shapiro (2010-05-20). “Rideley Scott’s Robin Hood does not let precedent slow him down”. NewOrleans.Com. http://www.neworleans.com/attractions/movie-reviews/397835-ridley-scotts-robin-hood-doesnt-let-precedent-slow-him-down.html. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  51. ^ “Rob the Rich? Give to the Poor? Oh, Puh-leeze!”
  52. ^ Rees, Simon. King Richard I of England Versus King Philip II Augustus. Military History Magazine, September 2006
  53. ^ * Smedley, Edward. The History of France, from the final partition of the Empire of Charlemagne to the Peace of Cambray., page 15-16 – London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1836.
  54. ^ “Quentin Tarantino’s Surprising Choices for Best Films of 2010”. The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/quentin-tarantinos-surprising-choices-films-67595. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  55. ^ “‘Iron Man 2’ stays atop box office with $53M”. Associated Press. Yahoo! News. 2010-04-16. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100516/ap_on_bi_ge/us_box_office. Retrieved 2010-04-16. [dead link]
  56. ^ ‘Gulliver,’ ‘Persia,’ ‘Narnia’ Rank Among the Big Botches of 2010

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[show]v·d·eFilms directed by Ridley Scott1970s

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See also: 1984 (television commercial) (1984), Boy and Bicycle (short film) (1965)
 
The Duellists (1977) · Alien (1979)
 
Blade Runner (1982) · Legend (1985) · Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) · Black Rain (1989)
 
Thelma & Louise (1991) · 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) · White Squall (1996) · G.I. Jane (1997)
 
Gladiator (2000) · Hannibal (2001) · Black Hawk Down (2001) · Matchstick Men (2003) · Kingdom of Heaven (2005) · A Good Year (2006) · American Gangster (2007) · Body of Lies (2008)
 
Robin Hood (2010) · Prometheus (2012)
 
[show]v·d·eRobin HoodCharacters

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