In May 2017, AlloCiné went on the set of “Robin Hood”. This resolutely modern new adaptation of the adventures of the legendary hero of the Middle Ages, which robbed the rich for the benefit of the poor, will be released on November 28th.
In May 2017, AlloCiné went on the set of Robin des Bois , directed by Otto Bathurst , to whom we owe the pilot of Black Mirror and the first three episodes of the Peaky Blinders series . If we believe the producers, comedians, and the director, met on the set at the Cité du Cinéma, this new adaptation of the famous medieval legend that brings together Taron Egerton (Robin), Jamie Foxx (Little Jean), Jamie Dornan (Will The Scarlet), Eve Hewson (Marianne) and Ben Mendelsohn (the Sheriff of Nottingham) announces itself resolutely modern and at least intriguing.
ORIGINS OF AN ORIGINAL STORY
Jennifer Davisson , who runs Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company , Appian Way, has been involved with Robin Hood since the very beginning. She then tells us that it took about a year of development, script writing until Lionsgate committed to distribute the film. “The difficulty was not that there were already movies on Robin Hood, it was that everyone wanted to do his Robin Hood!” She recalls that four or five projects were in competition.
It was then necessary to convince Otto Bathurst to join the adventure. “Otto’s work on Peaky Blinders was remarkable, he was able to bring an incredible modernity into a period series and create a unique universe, it seemed to match exactly what we wanted for this Robin Hood” , comments the producer. The director was not easy to convince: “I had no particular interest for Robin Hood, tales and legends or movies , ” he admits. “What interested me was to reinvent this story, to put it in parallel with what is happening today: the corruption of governments and the church, the power of the revolution.”
Finally, all that remained was to wait for Taron Edgerton, who was at the time engaged on Kingsman 2 . As E. Bennett Walsh , executive producer of the film, explains , filming started in late January 2017 in Budapest. It should have been held in its entirety, but a few weeks before the end, a fire broke out and completely destroyed the studios, so we had to recreate the set in Paris at the Cité du Cinéma, in just five weeks.
A FILM ANCHORED IN ITS TIME
Walsh confirms that Robin Hood will be an original story and will be interested when Robin de Loxley becomes Robin Hood. The film will be built in three acts. First, the crusades in which the young Robin participates. Then a second part of stunts and chases where Robin and Jean play cat and mouse with the sheriff, and a third leading to the final showdown with the big bad guy.
“Robin has been Syria for several years, participating in the Crusades and he realizes that something is wrong with this, that it’s all an illusion and that the goal is simply to control people. other soldiers suddenly hit him: they kill an innocent young boy before his eyes, who happens to be Jean’s son, and that’s where Robin meets Jean, and realizes that what he’s been doing for years is completely foolish ” , summarizes Taron Egerton, who embodies Robin.
“It will be a very political film, but also an entertainment with a lot of humor,” promises director Otto Bathurst. ” It’s an urban and industrial film, often close to the buddy movie and sometimes the western, and just forty-five seconds of the movie is spent in the forest, if I had to describe the spirit of Robin Hood. I would say it looks like medieval science fiction, it’s Blade Runner who meets punk, who meets rock’n’roll. ”
Although the film takes place in the 14th century, it boasts modern inspiration, as evidenced by the costumes, created by the British Julian Day. “I wanted a futuristic tone , ” he says. “I used a hundred of influences, but none of them are medieval!” I was inspired by Japanese, Oriental and Indian cultures, I did not want the style that can be found in the Robin Hood with Errol Flynn: I would say that the 10,000 costumes created for the film are one-third of historical influence, one-third of modern influence and one-third of futuristic inspiration. ”
MONUMENTAL DECORATIONS AND A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE
The day of our visit, May 10, 2017, the team must shoot in the studios of the Cité du Cinema, in Saint-Denis, one of the last scenes of the film: that of the death of the Sheriff. Taron Egerton, Ben Mendelsohn and Jamie Foxx repeat, then play the scene, filmed with three cameras, whose return is observed on the monitor.
Between takes, Jamie Foxx jokes, sketch a few steps in the manner of Michael Jackson or plague the phone about a basketball game. Then, Otto Bathurst asks Ben Mendelsohn’s duo to come on stage to complete the show. Taron Egerton, meanwhile, realizes his own stunts. He learned how to use the bow and arrows for the film, under the direction of Lars Andersen: “He’s a Danish archer, you can see him on Youtube , he’s amazing, he can throw something like 9 arrows in 5 seconds. ”
Everything is going very efficiently. The team is even a little ahead of the shoot and will be able to record a few shots of Robin’s arrival at Nottingham Ballroom. In this sequence, he infiltrates the palace, pretending to be a gentleman and trying to get information from within to be able to annihilate. Change of atmosphere in the stage: enter dozens of extras dressed in costume, dressed by Julian Day and his workshop.
TO EACH HIS ROBIN HOOD
When they have a few minutes, the actors and the filmmaker lend themselves to the game of questions and answers. Ben Mendelsohn, after the scene of his assassination, ended his day. He has even finished shooting all his scenes and, just cleansed and changed, he seems happy to go home to rest a little. When asked what his favorite Robin Hood is, the Austalian actor says, “The Disney’s Robin Hood is the very first film I’ve seen in the cinema, so it’s my favorite.”
Later, Taron Egerton, still in costume after filming the sequence of arrival at the Nottingham Castle Festival, confirms. It’s also his favorite. Next to him, still in the skin of Petit Jean, Jamie Foxx looks rather for the movie of 1991, directed by Kevin Reynolds, with Kevin Costner: “Kevin Costner obviously! In my day, it was the biggest star!”
Otto Bathurst, the director, does not go out of his way and his answer to the same question is clear: “Russel Crowe was terrible. Kevin Costner was very good in his genre. The Disney’s Robin Hood is the best. ” It is not us who will contradict him.