Hollywood Now Has Two Competing Gritty Robin Hood Reboot Projects

Name recognition rules everything around me. Public public domain, y’all. Deadline this week reports that Disney has bought a pitch called “Nottingham & Hood” from first-time writer Brandon Barker, said to be a “revisionist” take on Robin Hood with “a Pirates of the Caribbean tone.” I don’t know how much more revisionist you get than reimagining Robin as an anthropomorphic fox, but whatever.

….the hope is to launch a new adventure franchise that fits Disney’s global brand.

And of course, the single most important distinguishing feature of the Disney global brand is “making lots of money.”

Disney, however, won’t be alone in the trying-to-make-money-on-Robin-Hood marketplace, as Sony bought a pitch for a “Robin Hood Universe in the style of The Avengers” in October. WHOSE WILL BE THE GRITTIEST?? OOOH WAH-AH AH AH!

Meanwhile, Universal made a Robin Hood movie back in 2010 with Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, which was rightly forgotten. That also started as a “revisionist” take on Robin Hood, specifically in that it was sympathetic to the Sheriff, who had been reimagined as “a ‘CSI’-style forensics investigator, set in medieval times.”

Then it went through various iterations, becoming everything from a story where the Sheriff and Robin Hood were actually the same person, to an archery-heavy story exploring Ridley Scott’s supposed obsession with archery, to an origin story, until it wasn’t really anything but a big mess (and I think an origin story for the Magna Carta?).

Reading about the disastrous development of that one, it’s hilarious to hear producers talking about the “tone” of this one, as if it’s not going to change 12 times before it ever hits theaters. But if history has told us one thing, it’s that when Robin Hood comes to Hollywood, he’s great at stealing from the rich (*dodges arrow*).