I've been keeping an eye on the shenanigans surrounding Russell Crowe's next film project - because dammit, there's nothing I love better than a Robin Hood movie.
Seriously. The film buffs who take themselves waaaayyyy too seriously will roll their eyes, but Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves remains one of my top three, all-time favourites (along with Gone With the Wind and Some Like it Hot). As far as I'm concerned that movie is FLAWLESS and I will brook NO ARGUMENT.
I'm also a big fan of The Adventures of Robin Hood, the original 1938 Technicolour masterpiece in which Errol Flynn donned the green tights and took on Basil Rathbone in the best onscreen sword fight ever. I still giggle at Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights ("I have a mole?!?!"); I have enjoyed the bits and pieces of the BBC's Robin Hood series that I've seen (mostly due to the delectable inclusion of Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne); and I remember the animated kids' version (where Robin was a fox - the best characterisation ever) was one of my childhood faves.
So it's been with some interest that I've followed progress on Nottingham, which was to be director Ridley Scott's creative re-imagining of the story, with Russell Crowe as a heroic Sheriff of Nottingham, taking on the menacing thief of Sherwood and his gang of Merry Men Gladiator-style. I was intrigued by this concept, not least because it could allow for a slighly more historically accurate depiction of Richard Coeur de Lion (the biggest show pony in English history - YES I TOTALLY WENT THERE).
What's going on?
I don't think I WANT Russell Crowe playing Robin Hood. I was perfectly happy to have him get in there as the Sheriff, in his best ruggish, thuggish manner, and start kickin' some medieval arse. Laying the 12th century smacketh down on some drooling toffee-nosed nancy fannying about Sherwood Forest with a suspicious crew of highly-strung Saxon bandits. Hanging, drawing and quartering Friar Tuck for one too many nips of the sacremental wine. Defiling Maid Marian in the time-honoured way - by surprise in the murder hole of Nottingham Castle.
And really, Cate Blanchett. Haven't you made me jealous enough with your Oscars, your delicate yet otherworldly beauty, your playing Elizabeth the Fracking First, and your commitment to the Australian theatre industry? ISN'T YOUR LIFE PERFECT ENOUGH CATE BLANCHETT?
As far as I can tell, there's only way to redeem this version - and that's to bring Alan Rickman back as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The arty film wankers who by now have condemned me as a philistine for daring to find Kevin Costner an appealing Robin Hood - even they cannot disagree that Alan Rickman was the Best. Sheriff. Ever.
Who's with me?