Will Robin Hood become the next box office superhero? The legendary outlaw of Sherwood Forest is at the heart of multiple competing blockbuster projects at the moment, and today brings word that Lionsgate is eyeing an assortment of red-hot young actors, including many British thesps, to possibly pick up a bow and arrow for its contribution, titled Robin Hood: Origins.
According to Deadline, a high-profile shortlist for the lead role is currently led by Taron Egerton, who broke big earlier this year in Kingsman: The Secret Service. If a Kingsman sequel gets the green-light, he could be out of the running, but as of now, Lionsgate is high on the newly christened Hollywood star.
The studio is also looking at Brits Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, Mad Max: Fury Road) and Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Irish-American actor Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) and American-born Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) for the part of the titular hero.
Deadline notes that out of the above actors, only Reynor is actively campaigning for the part, having filmed an audition and sent it into the studio for their consideration. No decision has been made yet, and studio execs still have to consider exactly what tone they want their outlaw to strike before settling on an actor.
Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) is attached to direct the “gritty, revisionist” take on the Robin Hood mythos, which boasts a script from Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur scribe Joby Harold and has been compared by studio insiders to The Dark Knight (albeit with men in tights instead of Batsuits).
In this take, Robin Hood returns from fighting in the arduous, traumatizing Crusades to find that his beloved Sherwood Forest has become a hotbed of corruption, ruled over by greedy tyrants. Together with a rough-and-tumble band of outlaws, Hood decides to take back his land.
Other Robin Hood movies set up around town include Disney’s Nottingham and Hood, a lighter-hearted take on the characters that’s being billed as a family-friendly outing; a Sony pic called Hood that’s (bizarrely) described as “Fast and Furious meets Mission: Impossible“; and an unspecified Warner Bros. pic being written by Aquaman‘s Will Beall.
Still, Robin Hood: Origins currently has the edge on its competitors, and it’s aiming to keep it by getting a cast set and rolling cameras in the first quarter of next year. Expect a lead announcement shortly.