Two months ago CHUD broke the story that Russell Crowe would be playing not only the Sheriff in Ridley Scott’s revisionist Nottingham but also Robin Hood. July 28th, in fact – check out the original story here.
Now MTV has confirmed that from Scott himself (even though they’re claiming they broke the news. Guess they’ve been too busy running down Will Smith as Captain America scoops to check and see if anyone had already run this), but according to the source that told me the original story, they didn’t get the whole thing. Possible spoilers follow (if my source, who was already half right, is fully correct, and if this isn’t the crux of the advertising campaign):
The Sheriff IS Robin Hood. I have read the original screenplay for Nottingham from Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, and that is not the case there – it’s just a take where the Sheriff, Tornham, is caught between a shitty king and a folk hero thief who is kind of an asshole and a sell out – but I have been told that when new writer Brian Helgeland came aboard things changed in a big way.
Grain of salt time, kids: While my source was obviously very correct about this casting bit, it should be noted that a TV series with the same name was pitched by Tim McCanlies where Robin Hood would be a creation of the Sheriff as a way of dealing with the king’s insane tax demands on the people. Could my source have been getting his stories mixed up? It’s possible, although I will say that there is nothing in the original script that demands the roles of Tornham and Locksley being played by the same guy. In fact, if the Helgeland script remains close in story to the original drafts, having Crowe play both roles is simply a gimmick. And a bad one at that.
So Scott confirms what CHUD told you two months ago – Crowe has both roles. Now let’s find out if the rest of our story was legit, and which news organization claims to break it first.