says modern America like casting Robin Hood as the bad guy. After all, he is stealing, right? This is Bush’s America, and you only are allowed to steal if you’re a higher up in a political party, not if you’re just some ponce running around in Sherwood Schwartz Forest. So Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, the creators of Sleeper Cell, Showtime’s now-cancelled look at the inner-workings of a band of evil Muslims, have written a script for a movie where the Sheriff of Nottingham – usually the baddie in any Robin Hood movie – is actually the hero.

And in a display of excellent timing – their show was just cancelled last week – Russell Crowe read, loved and signed on to the script, getting 20 million dollars* (supposedly) to play the Sheriff of Nottingham. That means they have the makings of an honest to God go picture. The script might be very, very good, as it was the subject of a massive bidding war between Universal, Warner Bros and New Line, with Dreamworks and Columbia supposedly looking to get in on the action. In the end Universal got the picture, which will be produced through Imagine Entertainment.

Next stop: a director. The Hollywood Reporter says that Ridley “I’ll get attached to anything, and twice if Russell Crowe is involved” Scott, Bryan “Look, that Superman sequel isn’t really happening” Singer and Sam “Do you really believe I’m doing The Hobbit?” Raimi have shown interest.

*How does Crowe continue to be worth this kind of money in a world where he hasn’t had a major hit – and a flop or two – since A Beautiful Mind six years ago??