Vitriolic actor Russell Crowe has signed on for upcoming film "Nottingham," says the Hollywood Reporter. Crowe will receive $20 million for the pic against a 20 percent backend. Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are teaming up for the project, which is expected to begin filming late this year. The script is a twist on the classic Robin Hood mythos: the Sheriff of Nottingham is presented as the hero, trying to solve a string of murders that lead him to suspect the unsavory outlaw Robin Hood.
Some problems surround this new take, the chief of which is that the original Robin Hood story is itself a twist on typical expectations. The notion that an outlaw (literally, someone who had committed a crime so heinous not even his own family would seek retribution if he were killed) acted as a force for good, while the sworn protector of the land acted as antagonist, has always stood in sharp contrast to the normal day-to-day lives of most people hearing or telling those stories. Returning the Sheriff to a position of "hero," while an interesting retelling, may easily fall into the trap of trying to make "CSI: Sherwood" instead.