Could Robin Hood become Hollywood's next superhero?

  • AFP
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2015 16:20 IST

Three films on the famous archer from Nottingham are currently in development at US studios. The latest project to date will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio through his Appian Way outfit and written by Joby Harold, who is currently working with Guy Ritchie on an adaptation of the Arthurian legend.

Robin Hood and his Merry Men are preparing to take the silver screen by storm. The thief who steals from the rich and gives to the poor will be at the center of three features, all with the potential to become brand new Hollywood franchises.

Always on the lookout for potential blockbusters, Disney is of course in on the action. With Nottingham & Hood, the studio hopes to repeat the success of its Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with an adventure comedy for both children and adults.

Sony's Hood is slated to be more realistic and action-heavy, with a focus on the archer's band of Merry Men including Little John, Friar Tuck and Will Scarlett.

Meanwhile, Appian Way's Robin Hood: Origins is penned by Joby Harold, the screenwriter behind Guy Ritchie's Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur with Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law, which will hit theaters in summer 2016.

All of these projects are still in the early development stage; no actors have been announced to play Robin Hood, and no directors are attached. However, all three have the potential to draw major Hollywood stars, especially given the enduring popularity of the character and his story.

The man from Sherwood Forest remains the quintessential folk hero: a big-hearted rascal who sides with an oppressed people, putting himself on the wrong side of the law in the process. In the wake of the dystopian adventure movie craze, the next-generation Robin Hood could even be positioned as a variation on a Katniss Everdeen or a Tris Pryor -- an individual who stands up for the disadvantaged in the face of tyranny.

But Robin of Loxley already has a long on-screen legacy behind him. In 1973, Disney presented its animated adaptation featuring a cast of woodland creatures. In 1991, Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman co-starred in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

The most recent adaptation, released in 2010, is Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.

The recent craze isn't just limited to Hollywood. Across the Atlantic, French actor Max Boublil will play the character in Robin des Bois: La Véritable Histoire (Robin Hood: The True Story), a quirky comedy in which the archer is actually a scoundrel who steals from poor people, women and the elderly. Directed by Anthony Marciano, the feature arrives in French theaters on April 15.

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