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Rumor: Nottingham's Robin Hood Might Be Christian Bale? Updated!

by
June 21, 2008
Source: Daily Mail

Christian Bale

From Bruce Wayne to John Connor to Melvin Purvis - now Robin Hood?! An interesting rumor has popped up this weekend surrounding Christian Bale's possible involvement in Ridley Scott's Nottingham. On Wednesday we announced that Sienna Miller had officially joined the cast as the lovely Maid Marian, but the biggest question still was who would play Robin Hood. Russell Crowe will play the Sheriff of Nottingham, but he needs his counterpart, and one that might do a better job than Kevin Costner or Cary Elwes. Might Christian Bale be the perfect fit? The last time we saw Bale and Crowe together, as enemies yet again, was in 3:10 to Yuma. And the more I think back on that movie, the more I realize that it was the chemistry between those two that made it so great. Would this combination work again in Nottingham?

The rumor comes from the UK's Daily Mail, where they straight out report that Bale is in talks for the role but hasn't officially signed on. "Nothing is signed for Bale, but director Ridley Scott is exceedingly keen to cast him. Costume fittings begin next week, so he'll be either in or out by then." They also reveal that Vanessa Redgrave, William Hurt, and Atonement's Saoirse Ronan are all cast in the film as well. This sounds like a legitimate claim, but then again, we'll wait until he's officially signed before we start flipping out over his connection to nearly too many iconic characters (Wayne, Connor, Purvis, Hood).

With casting finally coming together and production set to begin on Nottingham, I'm finally getting excited again. I remember first writing about it last year, saying "I'm totally sold on this," but that "it just needs a solid script from a good writer." That requirement still hasn't changed and I last heard the script wasn't that amazing. Or at least isn't Gladiator quality, but there have likely been numerous polishes since then (or so I hope). My initial reaction to this rumor: Christian Bale is not the perfect choice. I loved the their chemistry in 3:10 to Yuma, but he just does not seem like a Robin Hood to me. He's Bruce Wayne or John Connor, not a bow-and-arrow wielding savior from Sherwood Forest!

How many people are looking forward to Nottingham anyway? We've talked about it a couple of times previously, but no one really seems to care about it anymore. Am I the only one looking forward to seeing Ridley Scott's revisionist Robin Hood tale?

Update! Apparently the guys over at Ain't It Cool News have debunked this rumor. While they don't credit any sources for this, they claim: "There is absolutely no truth to the Daily Mail's rumor. Christian Bale is not playing Robin Hood." There you have it. We'll let you know once we find out who will make up the actual cast Nottingham once it's official.

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  • With a longer beard ...I think he will be just for that role 😉
  • Layne
    Here's hoping! Crowe and Bale were so good together in "3:10 To Yuma". It'd be great to see a re-teaming!
  • TCox
    Christian Bale is an actor I can watch in any role. Add Robin Hood to the list. He'll kick ass.
  • Devon Shaw
    In the generic sense, Bale looks the part and would fit the bill. In reality though, his saturation from other work is too high right now.
  • cyn
    Batman to Robin! Christian Bale is everywhere these days. It would be interesting to see what Scott has in store for RHood. Hopefully erasing all memories of Costner's Hood... Bale, Crowe, Sienna Miller + Ridley Scott! I'm looking forward to it.
  • I love Christian Bale, but can't see him in the role.
  • sam
    if Christian signs for this, it would be awesome. Plus, i'm dying to see him again on screen wirh Crowe, they kicked ass in Yuma!
  • Matt Greene
    I read the original spec script that got this project started, when Universal won the rather heated bidding war to buy it, and it was pretty damn excellent. I would say, as a piece of writing, as good or better than "Gladiator." I liked Gladiator a lot but mostly for the incredible visuals of the Roman military machine at the start and the Gladiatorial combat in the middle and end -- plus the soundtrack. "Nottingham" was full of great characters and history and a lot of cool 12th Century English "Law & Order" stuff, as well as some siege warfare action scenes I've never quite seen in a movie before. Ridley Scott brought on a new writer to change it into his version but I'm hoping that the overall story and tone of that original script remains intact for the movie. It was closer in tone to Richard Lester's "Three Musketeers" than a purely uber-dramatic Ridley Scott movie. In it, Robin Hood was basically a charismatic and likable rogue, not a hero but not the villain either. To be honest, Christian Bale is closer to the lead character of the Sheriff of Nottingham in the original script than he is the Robin Hood character as it was written then -- but he's a great actor and he won't have to fake an English accent, plus he can hold his own onscreen versus Russell Crowe, so if it turns out he will be Robin Hood, it's all good as far as I'm concerned.
  • harrison
    didnt even know he was english, if he can do better than elwes then im down for him as the hood, need a serious portrayal of robin after that trash job by costner. seems like hes got a busy schedule between batman 3, terminator 4-6 or so plus if theres an actors strike but we shall see
  • Gary Norton
    As much as I think Bale would knock it out of the park, there is no truth to this story at all. For a start it came from the "Daily Mail" (no pun intended) and there have been no such negotiations! Wishful thinking and good thinking- but hogwash all the same!
  • They'd better make Robin Hood a cannibal in this one.
  • Keith
    I am greatly looking forward to Nottingham! A great cast and Ridley Scott directing, quite hard to go wrong with that. I wasn't sure who the character of Melvin Purvis was when you mentioned him at the beginning of the article Alex, but upon further investigation I have come to find Public Enemies, due out next summer. It sounds incredible, phenomenal cast and one of my favorite directors, Michael Mann. Christian Bale just can't seem to go wrong these days!
  • Conrad
    I must say that I am looking forward to another GOOD Robin Hood revamp. However, I am getting quite sick of Russell Crowe. He's a decent actor, but he's nothing spectacular. I can see that Ridley and Russell have become that frequent team up just just Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, or Scorsese and De Niro (nowadays, more DiCaprio). The only thing is Ridley doesn't make as many good movies as he used to. In my earnest opinion, "Thelma & Louise" was Ridley's last best of movie of the 90's. For the 21st century, his two best, were "Matchstick Men" and "American Gangster" - which was good, not great. Although I do have trust for Ridley that he will do "Nottingham" right, I still can't see his version overcoming the 1991 CLASSIC: "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves". - That was just plain great as far as I am concerned. The pacing was well done, the acting smart, casting, right on (I mean Alan Rickman as the devilish Sheriff of Nottingham!- great stuff!) not to mention Christan Slater as Will Scarlett with the only line of profanity in the whole movie and it WORKED SO WELL!!!
  • I think they should get someone smaller. Robin Hood really isn't a bulked up guy.
  • craziemutant
    i love the story of Robin Hood. i'd love to see this when it comes out. but i think Bale isn't the right guy for the job. he's great and all...but i don't think he fits the role of Robin Hood.
  • maverick.
    I can see Christianbale in the role of robin hood. But I think Ryan gosling would be the perfect fit.
  • Bale is pitch-perfect in nearly every film he's been in. Robin Hood shouldn't be much of a stretch. And it's Ridley Scott with Russell Crowe. This might turn into a pure actioner. Casting news doesn't do much for me though. I've rarely seen a film where I thought "man this would have been a killer movie if only they'd gotten the casting right". A great casting decision will rarely salvage a bad film. I've seen bad casts before of course (I'm looking at you Fantastic Four series!), but it's usually in a film that has numerous other problems already. A good cast does not necessarily equal good film, but a bad script nearly always equals bad film. Case in point, Bale's Reign of Fire. But then he's usually better at selecting scripts than that.
  • JeepFu
    That guy is going to be everywhere! It's a good thing he's a kick ass actor (watch American Psycho if you think different). Although I wonder if people will start to experience "Christian Bale burnout"...only time will tell!
  • Michele
    Too bad about the rumor not being true. I'd line up for it if it meant a re-teaming of Bale/Crowe. But I'm thinking that some smart casting director out there will find the right vehicle for them. I'd love to see them on the same side, but with conflicting personalities so that my boys have plenty of opportunity to show off. So, maybe Nottingham isn't right for them to re-team. But hopefully something will come up soon. I'll be waiting............
  • Weston
    Redoing Robin Hood again isn't that great of an idea. In my opinion, no other version(s) can topple 1991's Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. EVERYONE casted was great and it remains my all time favorite movie. I could watch it again and again. I wish there could be a sequel to that one instead of something rehashed.

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