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8 things you should know about the new "Robin Hood"

Writer: Casey Chong



Taron Egerton takes charge as the titular character in "Robin Hood".

Here's a little trivia: Did you know that the last time we got a big screen treatment was back in 2010 when Ridley Scott directed Russell Crowe in the titular role?

Well, despite the current trend of superhero movies, let's not forget that franchise revivals have been a rage these days. Which is why it comes to no surprise that the legendary Robin Hood story is given another shot to appear on the big screen after nearly a decade.


Directed by Otto Bathurst, best known for his BAFTA-winning work on the BBC drama "Peaky Blinders", the new "Robin Hood" is an updated take of the centuries-old English folklore aimed for today's generation.

Here, we have rounded up 8 things you might want to take note about the new movie that is currently showing in our local cinemas nationwide:

1) This will give a modern spin to the age-old Robin Hood story

One of the intense action sequences in "Robin Hood".

Believe it or not, the legendary English folklore of the Robin Hood character has been a favourite subject for both the big screen and television series over the past 110 years. In this latest version, director Otto Bathurst has gone on the record to say that he "didn't look to any of the previous versions for inspiration". According to Cinema Blend, he even went as far as stating that "part of [the] fresh take will involve focusing on Robin Hood as a revolutionary, and not just a thief".

He also said, "you don't become a legend for 800 years if you've just stolen a few bags of money from rich people to give to the poor. In my mind, Robin Hood was this sort of seriously militarised anarchist revolutionary, a freedom thinker and a truth seeker. And the more I got into the story, it just became startling how utterly relevant it is to what's going on in society now."

2) Taron Egerton was actually trained to do his own archery stunts

Robin (Taron Egerton) learns how to master his archery skill under the
guidance of John (Jamie Foxx) in "Robin Hood".

You may have seen the trailer and wondered if all those stylish, slo-mo action sequences look as if they rely heavily on CGI. Yes, CGI does play a part but director Otto Bathurst also insisted that his actor, specifically Taron Egerton, train for his titular role. That training in question? Archery, with the help of Danish archer Lars Andersen. The director praised the 29-year-old Welsh actor's unexpected archery skill as he "could fire three arrows a second [and] could hit moving targets in the air". Even Andersen himself was impressed with Egerton, going as far as saying he is "actually surprisingly good [and also] the best person [he] has ever trained". Now that you know Egerton actually does perform his own archery scenes in the movie, it makes the action sequences all the more thrilling to watch on the big screen.

3) Action sequences are tailored to be as contemporary as possible

A scene from "Robin Hood".

The trailer is already a clear indication that the action sequences in the new "Robin Hood" will be heavily stylised, complete with slow-motion scenes and acrobatic stunts. Simply put, this isn't your father's "Robin Hood". According to Bathurst via Irish Examiner, he said that "if you're in the 12th century and you're riding a horse, that is a car" and continues by saying, "I really wanted to make horse chases feel like car chases, we wanted to make it feel like "Fast and Furious" on horses. I wanted to make the bow and arrow fights feel like gunfights".

4) Eve Hewson's Marian reflects today's model of female empowerment

Eve Hewson plays the feisty Marian and also Robin's (Taron Egerton) love interest in "Robin Hood".

Irish actress Eve Hewson, whose previous appearances include "Bridge Of Spies" and TV's "The Knick", is making her mark with her most significant role thus far as Robin Hood's love interest, Marian. But instead of portraying her as a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued, Eve Hewson's Marian is fiercely independent and knows how to take care of herself. Even Bathurst himself stated in the interview via Irish Examiner that her Marian character is "incredibly powerful [and] an incredibly cool independent woman who's alive to the big picture".

5) This will not be a one-off "Robin Hood" movie

Yes, there will be more "Robin Hood" movies... if the box office is good enough.

Given the fact that the new "Robin Hood" is meant to focus on the origin story of the legendary outlaw himself, Bathurst has stated there will be a sequel in the future - provided of course, the first movie manages to make a killing at the box office. Should this actually materialise one day, the director has revealed his plan on what to expect in the proposed sequel... by focusing on Robin Hood's rival in love and politics.

6) Forget about anything that resembles "historical accuracy"

Ben Mendelsohn plays the wicked antagonist role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood".

It is understandable that most purists and traditionalists have left baffling over the creative decision of "modernising" the famous English folklore of the Robin Hood story. But according to Bathurst via an exclusive Yahoo! Movies UK interview, he "really wanted to drag Robin Hood into the 21st century". He also added:

"The story is more relevant than ever; religion is more oppressive than ever before, governments are more corrupt, there's more greed, more abuse going on in the world, so now we need more Robin Hoods and Maid Marians for that matter".

Even the setting of Nottingham itself is different than we commonly expect from a "Robin Hood" movie.

Bathurst explained that he "wanted [Nottingham] to feel big, international, anachronistic and irreverent and [even] painted [the city] as a cultural metropolis".

And above all, he even cleared things up by emphasising that "there is no historical accuracy in [this] movie at all and that [the choice] was conscious [since the primary aim was to create] a metaphor, a spectacle [and] a fantastical thrilling world".

7) Jamie Foxx is not your typical Little John character
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in "Gravity".
Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton in a scene from "Robin Hood".

In the new "Robin Hood", don't expect Jamie Foxx's Little John character to be nothing more than a mere Robin Hood sidekick. According to Bathurst, Foxx's character in this movie is only addressed simply as "John" rather than "Little John" in most screen adaptations of Robin Hood -- is "an amalgamation of Little John and the black Moor sidekick first introduced to the Robin Hood stories in the TV series "Robin Of Sherwood". Here, you will find Foxx's John character as more of a mentor who trains Robin how to shoot faster with bows and arrows while grooming him to become the Robin Hood.

8) Expect a creative arsenal of different weapons
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in "Interstellar".
Robin (Taron Egerton) shows off his archery skill using a unique bow in "Robin Hood".

Director Otto Bathurst is so determined to make his new "Robin Hood" as fiercely modern as possible that even the choice of weapons is uniquely different from other versions. With the help of renowned weapons designer Tim Wildgoose - best known for his involvement in movies like "World War Z" and "Assassin's Creed" he has created different types of weapons such as the "arrow-firing RPG" that is able to fire 30 arrows at once and a large Gatling-style mechanical crossbow, complete with a rotating magazine loaded with metal bolts. Not to forget is Robin's bow ranging from the traditional English longbow to a one-of-the-kind bow that is best described as "a bow [with] nun-chucks across the wrists and knuckles [that has] sharpened tips [designed to] slash and stab with it in the middle of a close battle".

Cinema Online, 24 November 2018


Related Movies:
Robin Hood (29 Nov 2018)

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