Robin Hood (2010 film)

Robin Hood

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by
Screenplay by Brian Helgeland
Story by
  • Brian Helgeland
  • Ethan Reiff
  • Cyrus Voris
Music by Marc Streitenfeld
Cinematography John Mathieson
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • 12 May 2010 (2010-05-12) (UK & IRL)
  • 14 May 2010 (2010-05-14) (US & CAN)
Running time
140 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States[1]
Language English
Budget $200 million[2]
Box office $321.7 million[3]

Robin Hood is a 2010 British-American epic historical war film based on the Robin Hood legend, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, William Hurt, and Max von Sydow. It was released in 12 countries on 12 May 2010, including the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and was also the opening film at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival the same day. It was released in a further 23 countries the following day, among them Australia, and an additional 17 countries on 14 May 2010, among them the United States and Canada.[4] The film received mixed reviews, but made more than $320 million at the box office.


In 1199 A.D., Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) is a common archer in the army of King Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston). A veteran of Richard's crusade, he now takes part in the siege of Chalus Castle. Disillusioned and war-weary, he gives a frank but unflattering appraisal of the King's conduct after the King asks him to answer him honestly. Though the King commends him for his honesty Robin and his comrades – archers Allan A'Dayle (Alan Doyle) and Will Scarlett (Scott Grimes) and soldier Little John (Kevin Durand) – find themselves in the stocks.

When the King is slain during an attack on the castle, Robin and his men decide to free themselves and desert. They come across an ambush of the English royal guard by Godfrey (Mark Strong), an English knight who has conspired with King Philip of France to assassinate the King. As Godfrey flees Robin attempts to shoot him but only succeeds in wounding Godfrey's face with an arrow. Robin decides to take advantage of the situation by having his men impersonate the dead English knights to return to England. As they depart, Robin promises one of the dying knights, Sir Robert Loxley (Douglas Hodge), to return a sword to his father in Nottingham.

As Robin and his men become drunk on the voyage, they awake too late to flee unnoticed and Robin is forced to assume the identity of the slain Loxley and publicly inform the royal family of the King's death. He witnesses the coronation of King John (Oscar Isaac), who orders harsh new taxes to be collected, dispatching Sir Godfrey to the North to do so – unaware that Godfrey will instead use French troops to stir up unrest and create an opening for Philip to invade England.

Robin and his companions head to Nottingham, where Loxley's elderly and blind father, Sir Walter (Max von Sydow), asks him to continue impersonating his son, to prevent the family lands being taken by the Crown. However, Loxley's widow, Lady Marion (Cate Blanchett), is initially cold toward Robin, but warms to him, when he and his men merrily recover tithed grain for the townsfolk to plant.

Godfrey's actions incite the northern barons, who march to meet King John. Speaking now for Sir Walter, Robin proposes the King agree to a charter of rights to ensure the rights of every Englishman and unite his country. Having realized Godfrey's deception, and knowing he must meet the French invasion with an army, the King agrees. Meanwhile, the French marauders plunder Nottingham and Godfrey murders Sir Walter. Robin and the northern barons arrive and stop Godfrey's men.

As the French begin their invasion on the beach below the Cliffs of Dover, Robin leads the now united English army against them. In the midst of the battle, Robin duels with Godfrey, who attempted to kill Marion and flees until Robin finally succeeds in shooting him with an arrow from afar. Philip realizes that his plan to divide England has failed and calls off his invasion. When King John sees the French surrendering to Robin instead of himself, he senses a threat to his power. In London, John reneges on his promise to sign the charter, instead declaring Robin an outlaw to be hunted throughout the kingdom. The Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthew Macfadyen) announces the decree as Robin and his men flee to Sherwood Forest with the orphans of Nottingham. Marion narrates their new life in the greenwood, noting that they live in equality as they right the many wrongs in the Kingdom of King John.



In January 2007, Universal Studios and Brian Grazer's Imagine Entertainment acquired a spec script written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, creators of the TV series Sleeper Cell. Their script portrayed a more sympathetic Sheriff of Nottingham and less virtuous Robin Hood, who becomes involved in a love triangle with Lady Marion. The writers received a seven-figure deal for the purchase. Actor Russell Crowe was cast into the role of Robin Hood with a fee of $20 million against 20% of the gross.[8] The following April, Ridley Scott was hired to direct Nottingham.[9] He had attempted to get rights for himself and 20th Century Fox, but had previously collaborated with Grazer on American Gangster and signed on as director rather than producer.[10] Scott was not a fan of previous film versions of Robin Hood, saying "the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks's Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes was quite a comic".[11]

Scott's dissatisfaction with the script led him to delay filming, and during 2008 it was rewritten into a story about Robin Hood becoming an outlaw, with the position of sheriff as part of the story. Scott dropped the latter notion and Nottingham was retitled to reflect the more traditional angle.

In June, screenwriter Brian Helgeland was hired to rewrite the script by Reiff and Voris.[12] Producer Marc Shmuger explained Scott had a different interpretation of the story from "the script, [which] had the sheriff of Nottingham as a CSI-style forensics investigator".[10] Scott elaborated the script, portraying the Sheriff of Nottingham as being Richard the Lionheart's right-hand man, who returns to England to serve Prince John after Richard's assassination. Though Scott felt John "was actually pretty smart, he got a bad rap because he introduced taxation so he's the bad guy in this", and the Sheriff would have been torn between the "two wrongs" of a corrupt king and an outlaw inciting anarchy.[13] Locations were sought in North East England including Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, and Kielder Forest. A portion of filming was intended to take place in Northumberland. As a result of the WGA strike, production was put on hold.[14] Scott sought to begin production in 2008 for a release in 2009.[15]

Filming was scheduled to begin in August in Sherwood Forest if the 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike did not take place,[16] for release on 26 November 2009. By July, filming was delayed,[17] and playwright Paul Webb was hired to rewrite the script.[10] The film was moved to 2010.[18] The Sheriff of Nottingham's character was then merged with Robin.[19] Scott explained Robin "has to retire to the forest to resume his name Robin. So he was momentarily the Sheriff of Nottingham."[20] Hedgeland returned to rewrite, adding an opening where Robin witnesses the Sheriff dying in battle, and takes over his identity.[21] Scott chose to begin filming in February 2009 in forests around London, having discovered many trees which had not been pollarded.[11] Scott was also pleased that the 200-acre (0.81 km2) Nottinghamshire set that was built during 2008 had aged into the landscape.[22] By February 2009, Scott revealed Nottingham had become his version of Robin Hood, as he had become dissatisfied with the idea of Robin starting as the Sheriff.[23]

Filming locations
Mock castle at the Bourne Wood at the end of filming, showing the burnt-out castle gate
Mock castle (Castle Chalus in the film) at Bourne Wood at the end of filming, showing the burnt-out castle gate, Bourne Wood, Farnham, Surrey, 8 August 2009. 51°11′26.31″N 0°46′39.01″W / 51.1906417°N 0.7775028°W / 51.1906417; -0.7775028 
Burnt out castle gate and battering ram
Burnt out gate of mock castle and battering ram (nicknamed 'Rosie'), Bourne Wood, Farnham, Surrey, 8 August 2009. 
Filming the fight scenes on the beach
Filming the fight scenes on the beach, Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 23 June 2009. 51°39′31.90″N 5°3′52.23″W / 51.6588611°N 5.0645083°W / 51.6588611; -5.0645083 
The beach filming
The beach filming, Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 23 June 2009. 

Filming began on 30 March 2009.[24] In June and July, the crew filmed at Freshwater West, in Pembrokeshire, Wales.[25] The arrival of the dead king's cog (boat), accompanied by Robin and his men, at the Tower of London was filmed at Virginia Water, where a partial mock-up of the Tower was built. Extensive scenes from the film were filmed on the Ashridge Estate, Little Gaddesden, on the Hertfordshire/Buckinghamshire border.[26] Filming of the siege of Castle Chalus took place at the Bourne Wood at Farnham, Surrey during July and August.[27] Filming also took place at Dovedale near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.[28]

The battering ram used during the filming at the Bourne Wood in Surrey, which was nicknamed 'Rosie' by the film crew and is worth £60,000, was donated by Russell Crowe to a Scottish charity, the Clanranald Trust to be used for battle re-enactments at a fort named Duncarron, built in a forest near the Carron Reservoir in North Lanarkshire.[29]

When interviewed in November 2008, Strong stated his character of Sir Godfrey was originally called Conrad and was based on Guy of Gisbourne. He described the original character as having blond hair and a disfigurement from being struck by a crossbow bolt.[30]


The film was released on 12 May 2010 in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, and was also the opening film at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival the same day. It was released in a further 23 countries the following day, among them Australia, and an additional 17 countries on 14 May 2010, among them the United States and Canada. It was thus released in 52 countries within three days. However, it was not released in Japan until 10 December 2010.[4][31]

Home media

Robin Hood was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 20 September 2010 in the UK,[32] and the following day in the US.[33] While the UK home media releases only consisted of the extended 'Director's Cut' version (15 additional minutes), the US DVD and Blu-ray discs consisted of both the 'Director's Cut' version and the shorter theatrical version.[34]


Box office

On its opening week, the film took £5,750,332 in the UK, ahead of Iron Man 2 and $36,063,385 in the US,[35] and grossed a total of £15,381,416 in the UK, $104,516,000 in the US and $321,669,741 worldwide.[36] The box-office figures were seen as somewhat of a disappointment, even though films set in medieval times tend to fare poorly and Robin Hood actually ranks as the second highest-grossing medieval film in recent memory.[37]

Critical reception

Critical reaction to Robin Hood has been mixed, with the film holding a 43% rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 238 reviews with an average rating of 5.4/10.[38] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, rates the film at 53% based on a normalized rating of 40 reviews.[39]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of four, writing that "little by little, title by title, innocence and joy is being drained out of the movies."[40] Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News felt that "the problem with Russell Crowe's new take on the legend is that it has one muddy boot in history and the other in fantasy. The middling result is far from a bull's-eye."[41] David Roark of Relevant Magazine accused Scott of replacing depth with detail and manipulative themes, like vengeance and unjust war, and stated that Scott had sucked the life out of a cherished fable, writing that "Scott has turned a myth, a concept essentially, into a history which emerges as dry, insensible clutter."[42]

Among the film's more positive reviews, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "Scott has great command of his action sequences" and praised his "sophisticated approach to the material."[43] Ty Burr of the Boston Globe called the film "smart, muscular entertainment" and wrote that Crowe "possesses a presence and authority to make you forget all about Kevin Costner."[44] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post called Robin Hood "head and shoulders above the sort of lightheaded epics Hollywood typically offers during the summer season."[45]

Russell Crowe received criticism from the British media for his variable accent during the film. Empire said his accent was occasionally Scottish,[46] while Total Film thought there were also times when it sounded Irish.[47] Mark Lawson, while interviewing Crowe on BBC Radio 4, suggested there were hints of Irish in his accent, which angered Crowe who described this as "bollocks" and stormed out.[48][49]

A number of reviewers have criticised historical inaccuracies in the film. In The New York Times, A. O. Scott complained that the film made "a hash of the historical record".[50] In The Guardian, Alex von Tunzelmann complained that the film was filled with historical impossibilities and anachronisms. She notes that Richard the Lionheart was indeed fighting in France in 1199, but that he had actually come back from the Holy Land seven years earlier, so it is inaccurate to depict him fighting in France on his way back from the Holy Land in 1199, as is the case in the film.[51]


Year Award Category Result
2011 People's Choice Award Favourite Action Film Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Stunt Ensemble Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Action Nominated


The soundtrack to Robin Hood, with music written and performed by Marc Streitenfeld, was released on 11 May 2010.


Scott indicated he had been considering further films, in an interview with The Times on 4 April 2010, stating, "Honestly, I thought why not have the potential for a sequel?"[53] and "Let's say we might presume there's a sequel." At the world premiere in Cannes, Crowe declared he was willing "if I had the opportunity to address what happens next with Ridley and Cate, then great, let's do it."[54]



    1. Chang, Justin (9 May 2010). "Review: 'Robin Hood'". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
    2. Fritz, Ben (16 May 2010). "First Look: 'Robin Hood' wobbly in U.S. but hits target overseas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
    3. "Robin Hood (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
    4. 1 2 IMDb: Release dates for Robin Hood. Retrieved 3 February 2013
    5. Borys Kit (12 April 2009). "William Hurt jousting for Robin Hood role". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
    6. Peter Sciretta (24 April 2009). "Ridley Scott Casts Matthew Macfadyen as The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood". SlashFilm. Retrieved 24 April 2009.
    7. 1 2 Kit, Borys (9 March 2009). "Trio join Ridley Scott's Robin Hood film". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
    8. Fleming, Michael; Diane Garrett (31 January 2007). "Universal flies with Crowe". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
    9. Fleming, Michael (29 April 2007). "Scott set for 'Nottingham'". Variety. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
    10. 1 2 3 Goldstein, Patrick (7 August 2008). "'Nottingham': Will Russell Crowe ever romp in Sherwood Forest?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
    11. 1 2 Pearce, Garth (9 November 2008). "Russell Crowe to toughen up Robin Hood". The Times. London. Retrieved 11 November 2008. I am trying to think of the last good one," said Scott. "Errol Flynn? A bit cheesy? A big cheese. God bless him. Kevin Costner? In the wig, you mean? The one I thought was the best, frankly, was Mel Brooks's Men in Tights, because Cary Elwes [who played Robin] was quite a comic.(subscription required)
    12. Kit, Borys (5 June 2007). "Helgeland new sheriff of 'Nottingham'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
    13. Adler, Shawn (22 October 2007). "Grazer Calls Scott's 'Nottingham' The 'Gladiator' of Robin Hood Movies". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
    14. "Sir Ridley Scott puts big budget movie on hold". Shields Gazette. Johnston Press. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
    15. Masterson, Lawrie (5 January 2008). "An alliance to Crowe about". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2008.
    16. Eller, Claudia; Richard Verrier (24 June 2008). "Strike threat creates a suspense drama for Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
    17. Kilday, Gregg (27 July 2008). "Ridley Scott's 'Nottingham' hits delay". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
    18. McClintock, Pamela (10 December 2008). "'Wolfman,' 'Nottingham' delayed". Variety. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
    19. Horowitz, Josh (27 September 2008). "BREAKING: Russell Crowe Will Play Robin Hood AND The Sheriff In Ridley Scott's 'Nottingham'". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
    20. Reynolds, Simon (11 November 2008). "Scott explains Crowe's 'Nottingham' role". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
    21. Horowitz, Josh (1 December 2008). "Brian Grazer Reveals 'Nottingham' Plot Points, Sets Record Straight on Russell Crowe Confusion". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
    22. Sams, Christine (1 February 2009). "An epic of merrymen". The Sun-Herald.
    23. Carroll, Larry (17 February 2009). "Ridley Scott Reveals New Name For 'Nottingham' And It's Back To Basics". MTV Movies Blog. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
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    27. "Surrey Film Locations". Surrey Life. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
    28. "Russell Crowe in Ashbourne". BBC Derby. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
    29. Charlie, Allan. "Russell Crowe Helps a friend with a cause". The Clanranald Trust website.
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    31. "ロビン・フッド公式サイト". Retrieved 20 May 2010.
    32. Amazon UK: Robin Hood – Extended Director's Cut (DVD). Retrieved 3 February 2013
    33. Amazon US: Robin Hood (Single-Disc Unrated Director's Cut) (2010). Retrieved 3 February 2013
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    44. Robin Hood Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 14 May 2010
    45. 'Robin Hood' a sure shot! Lou Lumenick, New York Post, 14 May 2010
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    49. Russell Crowe, Ashes to Ashes and the Archbishop of Canterbury
    50. Scott, A. O. (13 May 2010). "Rob the Rich? Give to the Poor? Oh, Puh-leeze!". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
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    52. Robin Hood Soundtrack TheOST. Retrieved 10 March 2014
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    54. ""Robin Hood" opens Cannes, Crowe hints at sequel". Reuters. 13 May 2010.
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