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Russell Crowe's Robin Hood to woo Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian: Will he finally be reunited with Oscars as well?

February 26, 2009 |  1:21 pm

Because Cate Blanchett and her playwright husband Andrew Upton are co-artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company she has scaled back her film commitments to barely one a year. That makes the news that  Blanchett is about to sign up to play Maid Marian opposite Russell Crowe's Robin Hood even more intriguing.

This legend of rogues and romance has been the inspiration for many films, including 1938 best picture nominee "The Adventures of Robin Hood," which starred Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland — it lost to "You Can't Take It With You." In 1976's "Robin and Marian," Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn played the pair in their later years. And in 1991's "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," a miscast Kevin Costner and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio starred.


Sienna Miller was attached to this project but exited last fall. Cate Blanchett is much better matched to hold her own against Russell Crowe. And her presence increases the profile of the picture with Oscar voters. It was a surprise this year when Cate Blanchett — the darling of the Oscars — failed to make the lead actress race for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." After all, the film earned 13 nominations in all and Blanchett is a five-time nominee. She has one win in supporting actress ("The Aviator," 2004), two more nods in that category ("Notes on a Scandal," 2006; "I'm Not There," 2007), and another two in lead actress ("Elizabeth," 1998; and "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," 2007).

This new film for her — now titled "Nottingham," but subject to a name change — is to be helmed by three-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, who directed Russell Crowe to the lead actor Oscar in best picture champ "Gladiator" back in 2000. Director and actor have made three films together in the past three years — "A Good Year," American Gangster," and "Body of Lies" — with varying degrees of success. An iconic role like the heroic Robin Hood could finally restore Crowe's credibility with the academy after his bad boy behavior cost him at least one Oscar.

In 2001,  Crowe was the front-runner for lead actor at the Oscars as star of the eventual best picture winner, "A Beautiful Mind." He coasted through the early part of the derby, winning with the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, SAG and finally BAFTA. That Brit fest is where the gladiator threw himself to the lions. He did so by "roughing up," according to the London Sun, a British TV producer for daring to edit down Crowe's rambling recitation of a poem during his acceptance speech. While Crowe eventually apologized, that rang hollow with Oscar voters who went with Denzel Washington ("Training Day").

Two years later,  Crowe proved he was still a commanding screen star, although no longer the ruler of his domain. He steered "Master and Commander" — an epic, high seas adventure —to 10 Oscar nods including best picture. But the actors branch did not nominate Crowe. The film ended up winning only two Oscars, both in tech categories.

An even greater shipwreck lay ahead with his next project, "Cinderella Man." This 2005 biopic helmed by Ron Howard was perfect Oscars fare: a well-crafted, feel-good tearjerker starring  Crowe as a down-on-his-luck boxing hero and Renee Zellweger as his dutiful wife. Reviews and buzz were excellent when it opened but then Crowe pulled his biggest blunder yet. He got furious while dialing his hotel phone in Manhattan, yanked it out of the wall, marched down to the lobby and hurled it at an innocent hotel clerk. The clerk struck back by filing criminal charges.

Unfortunately for Crowe, this time Crowe wasn't taking a punch at a pesky paparazzo or fellow Hollywood bad boy. He took a potshot at an honest, hard-working, innocent Everyman, a regular Joe, just the kind of guy who spends a chunk of his paycheck to see Russell Crowe movies. Produced for $88 million, "Cinderella Man" ended up earning only $61 million domestically.

While voters for the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes thought his performance in "Cinderella Man" was good enough to merit a best actor bid, Crowe was snubbed once again by the Oscars. And since then, Crowe has had to make do with a pair of 2007 SAG ensemble nominations for his acclaimed performances in "3:10 to Yuma" and "American Gangster."


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The comments to this entry are closed.


WHY is the long rich Crowe, to say nothing
of director Scott, wasting time on such
uninspired, routine drivel as this ---in 2010,
the once again 'mysteriously overlooked'
60th Anniversary of the epic, urgently relevant,
STILL unfolding ---KOREAN WAR...


Russell Crowe Is The Best Actor Of Our Time.
He Should Have Won At Least 2 Other Oscars For A Beautiful Mind And Cinderella Man.
He Will Win His Second Oscar For Robin Hood.


"The "honest, hard-working, innocent Everyman" was fired by the Mercer weeks later. One wonders why..."

He was fired for treating a paying customer like shite. Crowe warned him: "I'm coming down there to beat your a**." Sounds like something an "Everyman" would say to an a-hole clerk! I actually think it's funny as hell.

"You know there is some behavior that does make it simply unpalatable to bestow awards on someone. "

You mean, like, shooting at paparazzis ? (Sean Penn)
Or committing a hit and run? (Halle Berry)
Or driving while drunk ? (Kiefer Sutherland)
Or verbally abusing a daughter ? (Alec Baldwin)

yes, Kathleen, there ARE legions of RC fans - because the man is intelligent, talented and caring, despite the media's characterizations. Yes, Kathleen, like all of us, he's not perfect. Yet, he's come through a life begun in struggle to realize his potential, become a world-admired actor and learn from his mistakes. Not to mention raising a beautiful and loving family, bettering his community and rescuing his favorite rugby team.
Ole Tom has to let his rancor go, for once and for all!

Good lord poor Tom. Has the entire Russell Crowe fan club swarmed here to defend the indefensible? Some people - I guess ardent fans - still cannot admit what Crowe did to himself and more importantly to that hotel employee.

And I'm sure Tom has been advised that it is certainly not libelous in any way to say the tape was on the internet even if saying so was a mistake. If Crowe had not committed the crimes he was charged with then it would be libelous to say he did but as we all know he did commit those crimes and he swore in court that he did. Still his apologists continue to try to smear the victim by suggesting the victim is guilty of something nefarious - now that's libelous. These apologists have been smearing this victim from the beginning in some pathetic attempt to justify Crowe's criminal behavior.

Perhaps Tom had the Mercer arrest tape confused with Crowe's other infamous fight tape. I do remember another tape that was all over the internet which showed an abusive Crowe in a drunken rage physically assaulting and threatening people including a young woman and his own brother. You know there is some behavior that does make it simply unpalatable to bestow awards on someone. Crowe is lucky he has a few directors willing to cover him and keep him working.

Now I guess we're supposed to be thrilled that Crowe hasn't publicly assaulted anyone for a few years now. A few years ago is not ancient history.

NEWS FLASH, EVERYONE! TOM O'NEIL IS HEAVILY OBSESSED WITH RUSSELL CROWE!! He just can't get him out of his head. Tom O'Neil is actually Russell's long-time super loyal fan! So cut him some slack, will ya guys? Let him get it out of his system. He's just the same as that ironing-board-face witch, Joan Rivers, who consistently hunted over Russell. Bwahaahahaaa!!

sunny, with the script changes mentioned by Scott and Grazer for the film, I believe Cate and Russell will be playing to their appropriate ages. "Maid" Marion may no longer be a "maiden" in the new story.

There is NO evidence that Marion even existed, and precious little that Robin was a real person. All the stories and films about Robin Hood, including the 1883 book by Howard Pyle, are fictional, built on folklore passed down over centuries.

The "honest, hard-working, innocent Everyman" was fired by the Mercer weeks later. One wonders why...

"Cinderella Man" ended up earning only $61 million domestically"

Worldwide total was $108 million. DVD sales were also very good.

Several actors have misbehaved in significant ways since Crowe in 2005, and yet you keep harping back on him alone. Obsessed much ?
At least I noticed you have finally removed the libelous comment about the Mercer tape being widely viewed on the internet. Well done.

I think it's reprehensible that Oscars are awarded based on how an actor acts outside the performance in question. What is the point of the Academy Awards if the best actor doesn't win because he's a "bad boy" or whatever other pc offense one may have committed? Crowe was ROBBED all three times, for A Beautiful Mind, M & C (a truly masterful perf) and especially for Cinderella Man. I honestly can't remember a more affecting perf than Crowe's Jim Braddock and almost view it as a tragedy that he didn't win.

No doubt Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe will be better suited than Crowe and Sienna Miller. But is Blanchett a bit too old to play Maid Marian (emphasis being on the maid). Whatever one thinks of her as an actress, you do actually have to consider such things. Blanchett at one point playing a twenty year ballerina in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was laughable.

"Unfortunately for Crowe, the whole incident had been caught on videotape by a security camera and it was replayed endlessly on TV and the Internet."

Tom, Tom, Tom...
You STILL haven't learned, have you ? It was pointed out to you several times a few weeks ago that NO tape of Crowe throwing the phone exists on the Internet, yet you STILL persist in LYING. Tell you what, post the URL where this gem can be seen and I'll shut up.
And if this isn't posted, I'll know why. Because I'm right.

"Unfortunately for Crowe, the whole incident had been caught on videotape by a security camera and it was replayed endlessly on TV and the Internet."

this is not true ^^^

Once again Tom, you feel the need to rehash and retrash Crowe's ancient history, lest anyone actually think having such a great actor working in film is a good thing.

Give it up. You sound like a tired out old record. Crowe has kept his nose clean for several years now.



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