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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

because I can: Russell Crowe as Robin Hood

I don’t have anything deep to say about this — I just like looking at it. And, OMG, I think I dreamed this once:


Quoth USA Today (also whence this graven image hails):

“He doesn’t have the old Robin Hood tights,” says producer Brian Grazer. “He’s got armor. He’s very medieval. He looks, if anything, more like he did in Gladiator than anything we’re used to seeing with Robin Hood.”

Armor? Medieval? Gladiator? *swoon*

When I first heard about Ridley Scott’s take on Robin Hood — which had been called, for a while, simply Nottingham — I thought it was gonna be adapted from the most excellent novel from the early 90s by Richard Kluger. But this appears not to be the case.

I don’t care. I’m totally there when this opens in May 2010 (as currently scheduled). And I’m gonna read the Kluger novel again anyway (I still have my copy).

(FYI: The Kluger novel appears to be out of print on both sides of the Atlantic, which is a damn shame.)



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  • macca

    Brian Grazer is a smart man. He knows that the repeat audience for Gladiator was largely female and likely will be for Robin Hood too… and that some were concerned that Russell had packed on unappealing pounds permanently, therefore transforming him into excellent character actor, instead of thudworthy excellent lead character actor.

    With one photo, plus a few very nice promotional State of Play appearances by a slimmed down Crowe, fans can see for themselves that he’s once again a hunk who can act the pants of most actors, giving fans the best of both worlds… an actor who is sexually and visually appealing, and is also an actor who is unequivocally at the top of his craft. I believe this is called.. Win/win.

  • Bill

    As a straight dude, let me just say that this pic makes me warm in my giblets. God, I hope this movie is awesomer than Kevin Costner’s take…which I loved, but it never made me warm in my giblets.

  • Lady Macbeth

    OMG!!! That exactly my first line when I saw the first pic of Russ as ROBIN HOOD. WOW!! He looks GREAT! What an actor he is. Can’t wait to see how this one develops. So exciting. Man, can’t wait until May 14, 2010! Wooohooo!!

    Also love his new movie, State of Play. He and Helen Mirren are amazing. :)

  • Martin

    Well, I can honestly say that this picture alone looks better than the entirety of the new BBC TV series about Robin Hood.

  • PaulW

    And, unlike other certain Robin Hoods, he can speak with an Aussie, uh British, accent. :)

  • MaryAnn

    Well, I can honestly say that this picture alone looks better than the entirety of the new BBC TV series about Robin Hood.

    Except for Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisbourne. He’s so amazing, it’s like he’s in another show entirely. It’s like he’s the only grownup in the story.

  • Bridgid

    That picture makes my heart beat fast. Wow, he’s smokin’ hot. I can’t wait for this film.

  • Except for Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisbourne. He’s so amazing, it’s like he’s in another show entirely. It’s like he’s the only grownup in the story.

    Too bad he’s not in it, then I’d be really excited. But Matthew MacFadyen as the Sheriff and Alan Doyle as Allan a Dale is not too bad.

  • Martin

    Except for Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisbourne. He’s so amazing, it’s like he’s in another show entirely. It’s like he’s the only grownup in the story.

    Indeed.

    And then he left so some soap villain could fill his shoes…

  • CBN4ct

    I saw this pic in USA Today the other day and had to act like a normal person since I was in a public place. Had I been at home I would have swooned big time. Cannot wait to see this!

    My husband saw me looking at this and KNEW he was going to see the film.

  • amanohyo

    My mom has a crush on Russell Crowe as well (she’s practically memorized Gladiator). I don’t understand it, but then again, I don’t understand why any woman (or man) would be attracted to the sight of any man. I am continually amazed each and every time a woman (my wife included) assures me that she is not a lesbian.

    But back on topic, just as Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes, Errol Flynn is Robin Hood. However, I suppose I’m willing to watch another aussie take a shot at the role. Hopefully, it’s a dark and morally ambiguous take on the story/character to match Crowe’s brooding manner. He’s got a bit of range, but I don’t think he can really pull off something playful. That’s my biggest beef with remakes/reimaginings – they rarely have the courage to break free of expectations set up by previous incarnations.

    (Except for Michael Bay. He has the courage to crush everything original or subtle out of anything he touches)

  • Janet Mozelewski

    Surely you are arguing against yourself here:
    “He’s got a bit of range, but I don’t think he can really pull off something playful. That’s my biggest beef with remakes/reimaginings – they rarely have the courage to break free of expectations set up by previous incarnations”

    Why does Robin Hood have to be ‘playful’? Maybe because Errol Flynn was that kind of character. But that was just one interpretation and the Robin Hood legends and ballads themselves were quite dark. He’s an outlaw in a brutal period of history afterall.

  • amanohyo

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that I wanted a playful robin hood remake. I actually think that brutal/dark would be the best and only direction to go with Crowe+Scott. There’s certainly a lot more room for interpretation than there is with Holmes.

    My fear is that the story/character will be more serious and gritty on the surface only (like Gladiator). Why not take advantage of the dark, brutal world and make the viewer question whether or not Robin and the Merry Men really are the “good guys” (in more than a trite “ten seconds of monologue” fashion), possibly even tie it in to ideas about terrorism in a subtle way. Scott and Crowe have shown that they are capable of that level of complexity, I just hope the writers and producers are willing to let them push our expectations instead of cranking out another bland Prince of Thieves.

    However, all that being said, my Flynn comment just means that when someone says “Robin Hood,” I see Errol Flynn in my mind. Crowe can do an amazing job, and it won’t change that fact. I’m sure many Dr. Who fans feel the same way about their Doctor of choice (not to say that all of them are as inflexible as me). I think Ledger did a great job with the Joker, but Mark Hamill will be the Joker for the rest of my life. It’s not fair to the amazing actors that follow, and maybe Crowe will be Robin for a generaiton to come, but that’s just the way it is. The window of opportunity is closed, my brain is no longer serving breakfast.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m not expecting a playful Robin Hood from this movie. Not at all.

    But if you want to see a playful Russell Crowe, see *The Sum of Us,* a movie he made in Australia before coming to Hollywood. He can do playful. :->

  • CBN4ct

    I’ve seen “The Sum of Us”……really liked Crowe in that part. Hell, I even liked “A Good Year”…that was also Scott+Crowe, and it was more comedic than anything. Russell Crowe in that tiny car with the GPS system……that was hilarious!

    I just recently watched “LA Confidential” again. I hadn’t seen it in quite some time. That’s the sort of Robin Hood I’m expecting……tough and take no prisoners like Bud White.

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