The first trailer for Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood has hit the internet. Hit is the right word, as this is more battle royal than Prince of Thieves.
Looking exactly the same as he did in Scott’s Gladiator (2000), obviously with a few more layers for the English cold, Russell Crowe has apparently not aged a day in nearly ten years. His Robin Hood is a tunic, cloak, suede and leather clad ass-kicker. Looking less interested in stealing from the rich than just killing them this new Hood is certainly going to be a fresh cinematic take on the character.
Costume designer Janty Yates has created an earthy look for the 12th century legend, actually common with most modern interpretations. Outerwear from this era was mainly animal skin, and just check out that huge fur-collared pelt worn by who looks to be Matthew Macfadyen as the Sheriff of Nottingham on horseback.
There’s room for some stunning pearl and silver jewellery here, those feminine long skirts and tight bodices that cover all but the drawstring v, and of course a smattering of heavy yet maneuverable armour. Really however, this Robin Hood is lowdown and dirty more than polished and pristine.
No felt hat with a feather in it (a cloak and hood at best). No wavy hair (sorry, Errol). No tights either. But trousers in their most recognised form today were not worn in Western Europe until at least the 15th century, so do not expect to see Crowe in flattering slacks.
Always a difficult era for a costume designer to replicate on film because the hero costume has to be so far removed from our typical expectations to be accurate, Yates however has kept things simple and uniform. Robin Hood is a man camouflaged and warm; he is dressed for the elements.
For those without dire need to blink there are flashes of Cate Blanchett as Lady Marion and Mark Strong as Sir Godfrey throughout the trailer. This is definitely a teaser though. Just enough to warn us that violence is higher on Ridley Scott’s agenda in this origin retelling than folksy fireside chats with the Merry Men.
Robin Hood is due for release on 14th May 2010. With Scott in Gladiator mode and a screenplay by L.A. Confidential co-scribe Brian Helgeland, it will be bloody.
© 2009 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.