More revisionist medievalism from Ridley Scott!

Variety reports that Ridley Scott, having directed Russell Crowe in Gladiator (2000; my review), A Good Year (2006) and the upcoming American Gangster, has signed up to steer the actor through his latest project, a movie called Nottingham:

Crowe stars as the Sheriff of Nottingham in a revisionist take on the Robin Hood tale, with Nottingham as a noble and brave lawman who labors for a corrupt king and engages in a love triangle with Maid Marion and Robin Hood.

A corrupt king? Is that a reference to Richard I, who was played by Iain Glen in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven (2005)? Or does this film take place after Prince John ascended to the throne?

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • crystal

    If I remember correctly from school, Richard wasn’t such a great king … I think that out of 10 years of reign he spent about 1 in England, cost all the people a lot of money in taxes to pay for his ransom, and died trying to steal a treasure someone else found … but maybe I remember wrongly :-)

  • trent

    I’d vote for the latter; the majority of the Robin mythoses (mythi?) is built around the time that Richard was in exile….

  • Peter T Chattaway

    True, though if memory serves, the bulk of Robin and Marian (1976), starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, takes place during the reign of John (Ian Holm). Though even there, the opening scenes feature Richard (Richard Harris) during the latter stages of his reign.

    FWIW, Wikipedia indicates that Richard was captured and held for ransom between 1192 and 1194, so films like The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) would seem to take place during those specific years. And Richard died in 1199, which was only five years later. So a Robin Hood story could easily take place during John’s reign without making the characters all that much older. Though John did reign until 1216 — more than two decades after Richard’s capture — so the movie could make the characters older, too, if it wanted.

  • Magnus

    At least we are taking revision of fiction rather than fact.