Robin Hood can do just about anything. The cowled archer united English army against the French in Ridley Scott’s gritty, historical epic; he wore tight TIGHT tights in a Mel Brooks’ spoof comedy; Monty Python’s John Cleese played him as the accomplice of time-traveling little people in Time Bandits; he was a silent movie icon, the definition of swashbuckler for golden-age star Errol Flynn, and an unusually hot fox in Disney’s animated take from the 1970s.
Now, in 2018, Robin Hood is... basically Hawkeye in Assassin’s Creed mode, dabbling in a little Scarlet Pimpernel deception along the way. Sure! Anything and everything is possible when you’ve been public domain for hundreds of years.
In the first trailer for Robin Hood, Kingsman star Taron Egerton takes on the mantle, playing Sir Robin as smooth-operating rabble-rouser. He’s stealing from the rich, giving to the poor, pissing off the Sheriff of Nottingham (Rogue One’s Ben Mendelsohn), and picking up a few tricks from his pal Little John (Jaime Foxx). You know the story.
Director Otto Bathurst, who makes his feature debut after stints on Peaky Blinders and Black Mirror, just hopes you don’t know the moves. This Robin soars through the air (thanks to the Zack Snyder Law of Gravity), tumbles with parkour accuracy, and fires arrows like an old west gunslinger. His mind is on revolution, which looks surprisingly familiar in our politically charged present day.
Recent medieval reboots haven’t fared particularly well with audiences; Guy Ritchie 2017 film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which starred Pacific Rims Charlie Hunnam as a rock-star version of the once and future king, brought in a meager $39 million against a reported $175 million budget, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. With the playful attitude, and Edgerton’s (literal) wink-wink approach to the role, Robin Hood might stand a better chance for audiences attuned to the Marvel’s not-so-serious blockbuster playbook. Otherwise… well, count on a future Robin Hood movie in a few years.
Robin Hood arrives to theaters on Nov. 21.