Ridley Scott Takes Another Step Towards Becoming Harvey Weinstein


If you've stopped laughing at the idea of Ridley Scott co-running MGM with his brother Tony, prepare to start up all over again. While promoting next month's Robin Hood, Scott has finally gone on record about the long-rumored original script called Nottingham with words that would surely make Harvey Weinstein proud. For those of you who don't remember: that screenplay supposedly saw Robin Hood as the villain, Sheriff Nottingham as the hero and had an ending not dissimilar to The Dark Knight (Robin Hood is killed, Nottingham continues to use his visage to keep hope alive amongst the less fortunate). Says star Russell Crowe: "I just wasn't into doing that. For a start, if you're a public servant and the public, through taxes, is paying you to do a job, you'd better be well meaning. So it wasn't interesting to me in that incarnation." Sounds reasonable. What did you think, Ridley?

"It was f*cking ridiculous. It was terrible, a page-one rewrite. If you're going to invest in a Robin Hood story, why call it Nottingham? You'd end up spending 80% of the publicity budget explaining why it's Nottingham and not just Robin Hood. It doesn't make any sense."

Nope, it sure doesn't. But then again, neither does making a sequel to Gladiator and calling it Robin Hood.

· Behind the scenes of a brand new 'Robin Hood' [Times Online via The Playlist]


  • caslab says:

    Instead, they'll spend 90% of the publicity budget explaining why we should care about another plain old Robin Hood movie.

  • CiscoMan says:

    "Nottingham" as a title needs too much explanation, while, on the other hand, "Blade Runner" made perfect sense.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Here's what I don't get: the original "Nottingham" script must of had something going for it, because Crowe attached himself before Scott came on board. This was a spec script which generated a seven-figure bidding war, for crying out loud. Then Scott attaches himself to what he calls a "fucking ridiculous" script, Crowe suddenly acts like he never liked it, and Universal pays Helgeland a fortune for a page-one re-write. How does this happen? What brought Crowe in? More oddly, what brought Scott in?

  • Q says:

    Have you even read the "original script"? I dare say, it IS fuckin ridiculous. In this script by the duo who gave us "Bulletproof Monk" Robin is not really a villain but the sheriff POV and the whole love triangle among Robin, Marian, and sheriff is far from a spec script. That is nothing to do with this English folklore. And when Crowe got this script from the producer, Brian Grazer on the set of American Gangster, he was NOT interested in this but asked Grazer if Ridley directs it, he'd be in. So the result is this Robin Hood that has been revised by Brian Helgeland who was brought by Ridley to recycle that "original" garbage.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Not only have I not read the original script, I am not commenting on its quality. I'm just kind of fascinated by the idea of Universal and Brian Grazer paying seven figures for a doorstop, when the story of Robin Hood is free. Something seems weird about how it went down, that's all I'm questioning here. Why wouldn't Grazer (or Universal) and Crowe and Scott just start from scratch if they were interested in Crowe as Robin Hood, and save the seven figures? Sorry if I'm missing something here, just curious.

  • The Pope says:

    Seems to me that Brian Grazer wanted to do a Robin Hood movie. The fact that there was heat on the "rubbish" was enough to prompt him to buy it in order to fend off any other producers from making a movie from a script that was already there. By buying the script, the script is killed and with the heat generated from the bidding war, he now has something people want to read. He is already on the "Gangster" set with Crowe who reads it and says no, but will say yes is Scott comes on board. It sounds silly but only gets even sillier when you read that they called in Tom Stoppard to rewrite what Helgaland had already done.
    I read the 11/13/06 Reiss-Voris draft from 11/13/06 when it was called NOTTINGHAM and it was godawful.
    Which is roughly what happened with they made Gladiator.

  • tappler says:

    First of all, the Robin Hood Story has been available for free since the Middle Ages, so paying for it IS suspect. Secondly, the script is not 'godawful'. Its actually pretty good. People keep trying to figure out the disconnect and it's SO EASY. It's Ridley Scott. He is NOT a big fan of the screenplay as part of the film making process. Good on him. But this behavior is, as correctly stated in the article, a wink and a nod to old Harvey's antics. There was no need to purchase this as a bid to 'kill' it. Weird take from pope and q on events. Another studio could have made the 'rubbish' and Ridley would have been on top with his take. Right???? Its not as though there are never two versions of anything. There were two freaking versions of the Truman Capote story. And btw, Ridley and Russel were responsible for the truly godawful "A Good Year", so mentioning one less than stellar movie as way of suggesting that all work is sub par is a non starter. T

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    Yes, but if it was so awful, why the heat? Doesn't seem like these writers were/are such hot stuff or verge/breakout indie guys. Who was responsible for generating the buzz on such a "rubbish" script (and more importantly, how can I hire those people for my own scripts!)?