Friday, 12 December 2014

Walt Disney Pictures acquires Nottingham And Hood

The names Walt Disney and Robin Hood in the same sentence may well cast your minds immediately back to an animated fox causing trouble for a hapless lion and his snake henchman. That may be about to change, however, since Walt Disney Pictures have recently put a brand new Robin Hood project into development. News arrives via Deadline that The Mouse House have acquired Nottingham And Hood – a spec screenplay by newcomer Brandon Barker.

There are few details so far about the thrust of the story, but buckles, it's fair to say, are likely to be swashed. The scuttlebutt is that Barker's is a revisionist take on the venerable English legend, and that Walt Disney Pictures are looking at a Pirates Of The Caribbean tone and a possible new franchise.

Nottingham And Hood is, of course, not the only Robin Hood project currently in the works. Sony Pictures recently paid $1 million for Hood, from a pitch by Cory Goodman (Priest) and Jeremy Lott. That, too, is being touted as not only a franchise, but a shared universe affair including Merry Men spin-off movies.

It's a battle of the Hoods then, strangely echoing the situation in the early 1990s when Kevin Reynold's Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (with Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman) and John Irvin's Robin Hood (with Patrick Bergin and Edward Fox) arrived more or less simultaneously. One of those did rather better than the other.

With Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (2010) and the BBC TV series still in very recent memory (not to mention a Doctor Who episode this year), we could soon find ourselves with Nottingham outlaw fatigue syndrome. Neither of the new projects have found a director, cast or start date as yet, so we're safe for a while. As always, watch this space.

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