At least seven Robin Hood movies on the way from Hollywood
The first isn’t far away, as Taron Egerton will star in Lionsgate prequel later this year
Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton in this year’s Robin Hood
There’s an old story that’s been passed around the internet for as long as gossipy film message boards have existed. It goes that there has never been a great modern movie about Harry Houdini because each of the big six studios have scripts ready to go, but no one studio wants to go first.
Their logic, so goes the tale, is that once word got out that one Houdini script was in active development, the others would follow suit, and an arms race would begin for cast and crew, resulting in diminishing returns for those that finally got made. If even three of these went on release, their profits would be decimated by the competition, each of which could tap the buzz of the first movie and act as a wrecker out of spite for daring to break the deadlock.
As a result, the studios are in a Mexican standoff, and the bonkers economics of Hollywood stops a story full of action, adventure and intrigue getting to the screen, precisely because so many people want to see it.
It’s a good story, but one that’s always seemed a tad fanciful. That was until this week, when the internet’s movie sleuths noticed a “Houdini moment” happening right under our noses. Put simply, Hollywood has way, way, way too many Robin Hood movies in development.
The East Midlands’ foremost tight-clad wealth-redistributor has seven movies on the go according to the NME, or between eight and 10 if you read DenOfGeek. The first isn’t far away, as Taron Egerton will star in Lionsgate prequel Robin Hood later this year, (a film we cannot forgive for jettisoning its deliciously awful working title Robin Hood: Origins). Perhaps you want a slightly off-kilter take, and would prefer to wait for Dreamworks’ Merry Men or either Disney and Sony’s attempts, both of which are currently named Hood.
Or maybe your woodland bullseye is futuristic MI6 drama, Robin Hood 2058, which we’re guessing could be filed under “loose adaptation”.
Has Hollywood relented on its usual policy of avoiding direct competition? Did one studio break the Mexican standoff, unleashing the mutually-assured-destruction of a hundred clones out to steal its bottom line? Or is this sort of thing constantly going on with movie projects and this is merely the first such glut to reach a widespread audience?
Whichever is the case, we’re due a lot of Robin Hood for the next few years, but if you’re not a fan, fear not; Margot Robbie’s forthcoming Marian takes place after Robin himself has died, delivering what could be the most novel and original idea in modern moviemaking; a film with no Robin Hood in it at all. Who says Hollywood has no new ideas?