There are at least four Robin Hood movies in development at various studios at the moment, but it appears that Lionsgate is determined to be the first to get theirs in theaters. The studio set Peaky Blinders director Otto Hathurst to helm Robin Hood: Origins last month, with a “gritty” take that’s said to be in the vein of The Dark Knight. And now the focus is turning to casting, with a slew of young actors in the mix for the lead role.
Per Deadline, Lionsgate’s shortlist for Robin Hood contenders includes Nicholas Hoult, Jack Huston, Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), and Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), with The Maze Runner star Dylan O’Brien also believed to be under consideration. The report says that Reynor has gone so far as to put himself on tape and is actively pursuing the role, while scheduling issues could take some of the other actors out of the running. Egerton, for example, would need to return for the Kingsman sequel at Fox should the studio give the greenlight once Matthew Vaughn completes the script. So for now this list only serves to give us an idea of possibilities and the kind of actor Lionsgate is looking at—nothing has solidified yet.
Joby Harold, who wrote Guy Ritchie’s upcoming Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, penned the screenplay for Robin Hood: Origins, which Leonardo DiCaprio is producing through his Appian Way banner. Then over at Disney we’ve got the Pirates of the Carribean/Enchanted-esque Nottingham & Hood, plus Sony’s interconnected universe-starting Hood (nonsensically described as a cross between Fast & Furious and Mission: Impossible), and another Robin Hood take set up at Warner Bros. with Dan Lin (The LEGO Movie) producing.
But so far, Lionsgate’s film is the only one that has a director, and the studio is aiming to start production in the first quarter of 2016, which would assure them first position in the race of the Robin Hood movies. This kind of thing happens quite frequently in Hollywood, but not always for the better—neither of 2012’s Snow White movies were massive hits despite a pretty grueling rush to get both of them in theaters. Snow White and the Huntsman did spawn a spinoff, though it leaves Snow White behind.
Lionsgate barrels forward with this gritty revisionist take of a classic tale, look to hear more firm word in terms of casting soon.