Everything You Need To Know About The New Robin Hood Action Blockbuster
You know the story of Robin Hood. Master archer, Merry Men, steals from the rich and gives to the poor. At least, you think you know the story. In Robin Hood, director Otto Bathurst has reimagined the hero of Nottingham for the modern day, giving him a shot of adrenaline and a thick layer of grit. This is Robin Hood like you’ve never seen him before!
To get you hyped for the home-release of Robin Hood, we’ve nocked our arrows and taken aim at some of the film’s fresh takes on the classic character, along with some trivia about the infamous outlaw.
ROBIN HOOD BEGINS
Bathurst’s take on the classic character takes us back to the beginning and gives us Robin Hood’s superhero origin story.
As we begin, life is pretty sweet for Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton). That is until he’s forcibly drafted into the Crusades and shipped overseas to fight in the war. Robin returns home, only to discover that he’s been declared dead. His estate is trashed, and his wealth has been seized by the crooked Sherriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) and used to further fund the Crusade. He also learns his former lover, Marian (Eve Hewson), is rallying the city’s downtrodden commoners to start a revolution and overthrow Nottingham’s corrupt government.
Left with nothing, Robin starts his journey to become an icon of the people and one of the most enduring heroes of all time. Together with Marian and John (Jamie Foxx), a former enemy turned teacher, Robin takes on the mantle of The Hood and begins his quest to bring equality to his town, by stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
OLD CHARACTER, NEW STYLE
Discussing the film’s modern look, Bathurst explained that he thought the story of Robin Hood needed to be reinvigorated, and that his film needed its own unique personality. It’s a sentiment shared by the rest of the cast, with Egerton noting: “None of us wanted to make a Robin Hood movie that people have seen before.”
For example, Nottingham is reimagined as a sprawling metropolis, instead of a small village, giving Robin and his crew more room for high-octane action sequences. The Sherriff and his men carry crossbows that launch bolts like machine-gun fire and are strong enough to tear through concrete. The horse chase scenes look like smash-and-grab car chases from old gangster film. It’s fast and loud, something you wouldn’t usually associate with a medieval period piece!
Egerton, who is no stranger to epic action sequences, describes Hood as being, “Super fast-paced and high-energy for a Fast and Furious and Marvel generation.”
MODERN MEDIEVAL WARFARE
One of Bathurst’s unique aesthetic choices was to take inspiration from modern warfare in the Middle East when depicting the combat between the Crusaders and the Saracens. The only difference is that instead of guns, they’ve got bows and arrows.
“The way they shot it was crazy,” Foxx told EW, “it looks like you’re watching Zero Dark Thirty. We’re shooting with our bows, but they computer-generated it so it’s rapid-fire, almost like an AK.”
SAME SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
The changes aren’t just aesthetical. Bathurst and his crew have tweaked the classic tale’s characters. Little John is now a badass warrior and mentor for Robin, with Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx leaving his mark on the character. Recast as a Moor who faced Robin during the Crusades, Yahya (it means John) stows away on a Crusader’s ship, and journeys to Nottingham to help train the would-be Hood after witnessing his compassion on the battlefield.
Maid Marian is no longer the damsel-in-distress, but a revolutionary helping the common folk rise up against their oppressors, and is instrumental in helping guide Robin’s cause.
Traditionally, the Sherriff of Nottingham was romantically interested in Maid Marian, adding another layer of conflict between Robin and himself. In Bathurst’s version, the Sherriff is purely villainous. Now the love triangle is between Marian, Robin, and one of the Merry Men, Will Scarlet (Jamie Dornan).
HOOD ON THE BIG-SCREEN
Throughout the 20th century, Robin Hood has seen his fair share of movie adaptations. His cinematic debut was just over 110 years ago, with Percy Stow’s 1908 film, Robin Hood and His Merry Men. Since then Robin has been the focus of dozens of different big-screen takes (not to mention countless television series too).
By far his most popular is the 1973 animated Disney film, which reimagined the archer as a cunning fox. The Disney version also holds a special place for Robin Hood’s Sherriff of Nottingham, as it was also one of, if not the first movie that Ben Mendelsohn ever saw!
To give the bow combat of Robin Hood a unique personality, Bathurst hired Lars Andersen, a Danish archer, as a consultant and trainer.
Andersen became a Youtube sensation in 2015 through from a trick archery video that earned him the nickname “Real Life Legolas.” Some of his skills include, shooting arrows out of the air with his own arrows, making arrows turn mid-flight and firing three arrows in 0.6 seconds.
As far as archery teachers go, you probably couldn’t have asked for a cooler guy. Egerton even performs some of these wild moves in Robin Hood, and is apparently the best student Andersen has ever trained.
AN AUSTRALIAN IN NOTTINGHAM
Ben Mendelsohn isn’t the only familiar Aussie face in Robin Hood. Friar Tuck, one of Robin’s oldest friends, is played by comedian and performer Tim Minchin, co-creator of Matilda: The Musical.
WAS ROBIN HOOD REAL?
The legend of Robin Hood is an old one, with the first stories of hooded hero beginning as ballads and folklore tales around the 14th century. But was he an actual bandit who inspired these stories? The answer is a resounding: maybe?
A few different theories exist with some historians believing that the legendary archer was indeed real. “Robehod” and “Rabunhod” were common nicknames for criminals, and there is evidence of various outlaws named Robert Hod or Robyn Hode from the 13th and 14th centuries.
However, no single person has been identified as the real inspiration for Robin Hood.
STEAL FROM THE RICH
“In the 21st century, we have political leaders all over the world who are abusing their power, and religions throughout the world that are oppressing their people.” Bathurst explained in an interview, “We’ve got wars being fought that are completely unjust. We need people to stand up and claim their truth.
“And that’s Robin Hood.”
‘Robin Hood’ is new to 4k Ultra Hd™, Blu-ray™, Dvd & Digital. Purchase it here: https://theviewinglounge.com.au/view/robin-hood/