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ROBIN HOOD

About The Production
The daring tales of Robin Hood have been a part of English literature for decades. As put succinctly by scholar J.C. Holt: "There are a quiverful of possible Robin Hoods. Even the likeliest is just a shot in the gloaming.” Yet this archetypal story has survived and been passed down through generations, morphing as each era adds to the evolving canon. "What began as an oral legend,” reflects Holt, "ended up as a script.”

The stories of Robin are among the oldest in England's oral histories, stretching far back into the medieval period of the 9th century with tales of "Robin the Be-header” and finding literary form with surviving 15th- and 16th-century ballads such as A Gest of Robyn Hode, Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar and Robin and the Monk. As far as we know, however, there's no one actual Robin to whom we can look as the single authentic figure. From suggestions that the surname Robehod was often applied to a man after he became an outlaw, to the conjecture that "Robin Hood” was a stock pseudonym used by thieves, theories abound and the legend endures.

The hero has also found a rich legacy on screen. Robin has been featured in upwards of 30 notable film and television productions, ranging from a 1913 Ivanhoe adaptation, through the films of Douglas Fairbanks (Robin Hood, 1922), Errol Flynn (The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938), Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn (Robin and Marian, 1976) and Kevin Costner (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1991), as well as popular television serials such as the BBC's Patrick Troughton series Robin Hood (1953), Robin of Sherwood (1984) and the more recent Robin Hood (2006).

For all his popularity, however, Robin's on-screen tale rarely evolves, with filmmakers invariably peddling familiar tales such as those of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, the malicious Guy of Gisburne and the iconic damsel in distress, Maid Marion. Inevitably, Robin has been portrayed as either a dispossessed nobleman or, more likely, a gallant rogue with arms akimbo who serves comeuppance to the rich and gives blissfully to the poor.

During the filming of American Gangster with Sir Ridley Scott, producer Brian Grazer approached Russell Crowe about starring in a new Robin Hood. Grazer looked forward to reteaming with the performer, with whom he had already enjoyed two successful collaborations—on A Beautiful Mind, for which Crowe earned an Oscar® nod, and Cinderella Man. For this telling, the men were interested on a unique take on the age-old legend: an origin story that explains how a common archer in King Richard's army transformed into the legend we know as Robin Hood. Set against the backdrop of the Crusades, this action-adventure would give historical framework to the later exploits that had been covered in many other versions of the tale.

Grazer came aboard to develop and produce the project through Universal Pictures and the company he shares with Academy Award® winner Ron Howard, Imagine Entertainment. "Movies about heroes inspire me,” states the producer. "The story of Robin Hood particularly appealed to me because it is about a man who has nothing but the right cause in his mind, and the skill and resoluteness to pursue it.”

"With our film, we explain who the Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marion and her father-in-law are, the dynamics of the northern part of England and the barons, and how England was controlled at the time,” Grazer continues. "By the end of the movie, you also know who Robin is. The end of our movie is the beginning of all the dozens or so other films that have been made.”

Grazer found the Australian actor keenly interested in reworking the legend. He admitted an interest in the outlaw that stretched back several decades. "I was very enthusiastic,” Crowe says. "Robin Hood has always been in the back of my mind since I

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