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Ah, how medieval

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that re-tooling a classic tale is, to use SCAdian-ese, "Very period."

That is not the same as saying it is always a good idea. Right up until I read the plot blurb, I was willing to be hopeful. Now I'm thinking I'll just go for the "scenery" and to snark about the garb.

Universal Pictures have announced the remaining cast members to appear in Ridley Scott’s upcoming ROBIN HOOD movie about to begin shooting in the UK. The legendary Vanessa Redgrave ("Mission: Impossible," "Atonement") will play John and Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Oscar Isaac ("Che," "Body of Lies") will play King John with Mark Strong ("Stardust," "Body of Lies") as his vicious henchman Sir Godfrey. Léa Seydoux ("Inglourious Basterds") has also joined the cast as French Princess Isabella. The quartet join Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett as Robin and Maid Marian, Scott Grimes as Welshman Will Scarlet, Kevin Durand as Scotsman Little John, and Alan Doyle as Irishman Allan Adayle.
A new synopsis has also been released, here is is:
"Crowe stars as the legendary figure known by generations as Robin Hood, whose exploits have endured in popular mythology and ignited the imagination of those who share his spirit of adventure and righteousness. In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power. And whether thief or hero, one man from humble beginnings will become an eternal symbol of freedom for his people.
The untitled Robin Hood adventure chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard’s army against the French. Upon Richard’s death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion (Blanchett), a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.
With their country weakened from decades of war, embattled from the ineffective rule of the new king and vulnerable to insurgencies from within and threats from afar, Robin and his men heed a call to ever greater adventure. This unlikeliest of heroes and his allies set off to protect their country from slipping into bloody civil war and return glory to England once more."



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2009 10:12 am (UTC)
it could be worse. they could have cast Kevin Costner in the lead.

oh, *wait*.

(still Allan Doyle as Allan a-Dayle, how frakkin' awesome is *that*??)
Mar. 25th, 2009 10:14 am (UTC)
If she's a spirited widow, surely she is no longer a maiden. Sheesh, these reviewers don't even know what that means.
Mar. 25th, 2009 12:23 pm (UTC)
Scary point number one--this isn't a review, it's the writer's/producer's "Bible" statement.

Scary point number two--they called Audrey Hepburn's character in Robin and Marian Maid Marian, too.

Le sigh.
Mar. 25th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
Crowe could very well give the role some life, although my quintessential portrayal of Robin, Marian, John, and the Sherriff are Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Nicol Williamson, and Robert Shaw plus fight choreography by Will Hobbs ala "Robin and Marian." Richard Harris and Ian Holm as Richard and John are on the money.
Mar. 25th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)

I will have to go to the international conference on robin Hood Studies next time it's held, just to hear the scuttlebutt.

This sounds better than the "RObin Hoodie" version they did on the BBC last year.

One of the great Robin Hood scholars said that after Robin and Marion he didn't think anything new could be found in the Robin Hood legend, but that the eco-Robin Hood that developed in the eighties (Of which Costner, Michael Praed, Jason Connery and Patrick Bergen were all a part) surprised him. Crow will be a more masculine, aggressive, bloody Robin than we've had before. Maybe studying Robin as Brigand is not such a bad thing. Right now society is hungry for anti-corruption themes, so this will probably have a pretty big impact and will likely touch a nerve.
Mar. 25th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
Certainly this version will have more in common with the Sean Connery than the Costner (please, oh please), and less new-agey than some. I don't mind the emphasis on the outlawry either, since certainly there's no doubt more truth in that than the glorious, but unrealistic classic with Mr. Flynn.

I think, though, I'd rather they just told this as "a story" and didn't claim it was "Robin Hood." A myth has certain essential elements, and just what they've done with Marian totally eviscerates a fundamental core (the claiming of the Spring Maiden, certifying dominion of the land) of that.
Mar. 25th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd say conflating the Prioress of Kirklee with Maid Marion was a much greater transgression.

As for the myth of Robin Hood, that, like all things, is constructed of what people want to read into it. There is no evidence of Robin having mythic of folkloric origins. It's no more or less valid than the theory of Robin Hood as proto-Marxist revolutionary. Marion doesn't even enter the English story cycle until the 16th Century, and then not as a maiden but as the trollop lover of the friar (how she becomes the maid, and gets conflated with the Marion from the French pastoral Le Jeu de Robin et Marion, is one of the big mysteries surrounding the Robin Hood stories, but it has a lot to do with may games and the Morris Dance). Hell, until the 17th Century, Robin isn't even associated with John and Richard at all: in the ballads he is squarely associated with King Edward (probably the 2nd). In the 19th Century Marion was constructed as a kind of early Xena (or latter day Boudicia), a warrior maiden whose Saxon virtues made her superior to the Normans "and all their spindly race": but that was part of a literary agenda which was creating the ideal of the racial superiority of German people's--a precursor to Nazisim--which is what gives us the Saxon/Norman conflict in the stories of the 19th and 20th centuries.

So losing the virginal Marion is no big deal.
Mar. 25th, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Marion
Well, at least the move to Richard and John makes some psychological sense. Untill RIII, there really was no other king than John that most people could agree to hate. (The irony, of course, being that both J and RIII were actually pretty good at the job, from an administrative point of view, and the most beloved, RI and HV were pretty much charismatic soldiers with little ability at the work of kingship.)
Mar. 25th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Gee, I'm seeing an eerie confluence to the government of today...I think that I will pass on this movie, too. I still smart from so many other attempts to bring medieval stories to light.

The best to date has to be Name of the Rose.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )