ROBIN HOOD

Will Taron Eger­ton’s ar­row hit the bulls­eye?

Total Film - - Contents -

When the trailer dropped for Otto Bathurst’s re­vi­sion­ist Robin Hood – star­ring Taron Eger­ton – con­fu­sion reigned, with the Mediter­ranean-look­ing Not­ting­ham and ma­chine-stitched hood­ies greeted grumpily by cyn­ics. “If you bring any his­tor­i­cal ex­pec­ta­tion, you’re go­ing to be very an­gry within 10 sec­onds,” says Bathurst, in Lon­don’s Soho Ho­tel. The Bri­tish di­rec­tor is fully aware that his take on Robin Hood will an­tag­o­nise purists. “It’s got some edge to it, it’s got a voice,” he ar­gues. “It’s very dif­fer­ent to any other [ver­sion].”

Since the silent movie era, Not­ting­ham’s iconic rob­ber of the rich has reap­peared on screen ev­ery decade, played by ev­ery­one from Er­rol Flynn to Kevin Cost­ner. Most re­cently it was Rus­sell Crowe in Ri­d­ley Scott’s 2010 movie. No won­der Eger­ton

was re­luc­tant when he was first ap­proached. “I re­mem­ber the email: ‘Are you in­ter­ested in play­ing Robin Hood?’ And I said, ‘No,’” ad­mits the Kings­man star, when TF meets him in New York’s Man­darin Ho­tel. “It felt too soon, post the Rus­sell Crowe one – which had a mixed re­cep­tion, but has to be said did very good busi­ness.”

But is that a rea­son sim­ply to re­gur­gi­tate Robin once more? With an im­pres­sive ca­reer in TV – helm­ing episodes of Peaky Blin­ders and Black Mir­ror – did Bathurst re­ally want to risk his fea­ture de­but on this? “My take on the Robin Hood story was ini­tially: ‘Re­ally? An­other one? Why does the world need an­other Robin Hood story?’”

It’s a point that was made to the cast, notes Jamie Dor­nan, the Fifty Shades star who signed on to play Robin’s peer Will Scar­let. “And then he saw the op­por­tu­nity to make it

tak­ing a bow taron Eger­ton stars as the do-good­ing thief in a rad­i­cal reimag­in­ing of the Brit leg­end.

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