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Russell Crowe rides to Nottingham

The story of Robin Hood and his battles against the evil Sheriff of Nottingham is one of those plots that gets dragged on to screens at least once every ten years. We’ve had the classics, from the likes of Errol Flynn and the BBC’s Robin Of Sherwood to, er, the other attempts: Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and the BBC’s latest trip to the Hood.

Now Universal thinks it has found a brand new take on the Hood legends: it’s just nabbed Nottingham from writers Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, who most recently created the US cable terrorism drama Sleeper Cell.

Their take is that Robin Hood isn’t quite the noble, rob-rich-give-poor hero he’s made out to be. And that the Sheriff of Nottingham was a misunderstood lawman.

"He's trying to do the right thing, but he's up against Robin Hood, who's becoming heroic while not necessarily acting in the nicest way," explained Reiff to Variety . Oh, and this being Hollywood, there’s naturally a love triangle that hinges between Maid Marian, Robin and the Sheriff.

And who have Universal lined up to play the new, more reasonable sheriff? A man used to playing gruff, misunderstood figures from days of yore. Step forward Russell Crowe.

Yes, the man formerly known as Maximus has been tempted back to the past for the paltry fee of $20 million and a chunk of the profits. Producer Brian Grazer is now on the hunt for a director, with the hope that the film can be shooting by the end of the year or early 2008…

Source: ( Variety )