x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gladiator in Lincoln green

Hurrah! Robin Hood is here. Well, nearly. It's been announced that Ridley Scott's latest romp through history will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 12.

Russell Crowe as Robin Hood.
Russell Crowe as Robin Hood.

Hurrah! Robin Hood is here. Well, nearly. It's been announced that Ridley Scott's latest romp through history will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 12, two days before the film goes on international release. The project, originally called Nottingham, has not been an easy one for Scott. First an actors' strike hung over the production, then Universal was reportedly unhappy with the script. Next came a practical problem, with filming postponed in the summer of 2008 because it was realised that the leaves on location in Britain would be browning and dropping off the trees.

Oh yes and Sienna Miller had to be replaced as Maid Marian by Cate Blanchett, reportedly because she would have looked too young and petite next to the film's star - Russell Crowe. It is the fifth time that Scott and Crowe have worked together, and fans may experience déjà vu. For example, the first glimpse of Robin Hood last December in an official trailer showed Crowe in armour in a forest, at times wielding a sword and later mounted on a horse. Where have we seen that before?

There's Blanchett as a long-haired damsel, a warbly, emotive soundtrack and Crowe's gravelly voice. In short, there's an awful lot in the film that implies it's Gladiator, shifted west a few countries to Sherwood Forest. "I declare him to be an outlaw!" bellows Prince John (a devilish-looking Oscar Isaac) of our hero at one point. Yes, the similarities seem uncanny.