'Robin Hood' to open Cannes

"Robin Hood"
"Robin Hood"
 
PARIS -- English folklore will meet French tradition when Ridley Scott's blockbuster "Robin Hood' opens the 63rd Festival de Cannes on May 12, organizers said Friday.

Russell Crowe plays the legendary archer alongside an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett, Max Von Sydow, Lea Sedoux and William Hurt. "Robin Hood," produced by Brian Grazer, Imagine Entertainment and Scott's Scott Free, will screen Out of Competition at Cannes on the same day it hits French theaters, before Universal releases the film worldwide on May 14.

"The choice of the opening night film is always tricky. By choosing 'Robin Hood,' we'll have a popular movie directed by Ridley Scott, a 'Hollywood auteur' whose work is respected throughout the world," Festival de Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux said.

He added: "Plus, the film will be released everywhere at the same time it screens in Cannes, which will be a great connection between the festival and audiences all over the world."

Scott is no stranger to the Croisette, after screening his prizewinning 'The Duellists" in 1977 then "Thelma and Louise" in 1991.

Written by Brian Helgleland, the new version of the classic story is an action-packed look at the well-known tale about a thief-turned-hero in 13th century England trying to save a village and earn the affections of his lady love. Crowe isn't the first to play the heroic outlaw; Robin Hood's tights have previously been worn by Errol Flynn, Sean Connery and Kevin Costner.
 
Last year's opening-night film, "Up," was a huge boxoffice and awards season hit, but does a warm reception in Cannes guarantee global success?

"The financial crisis should encourage us to preserve the spirit of two fundamental aspects of cinema: Cannes is a festival that needs to be useful to movies, to artists and to professionals. Cannes is also a Festival that needs to make people dream, give confidence and send films into the future," Fremaux said of the choice to open with another studio tentpole.

"Quite simply, the history of cinema continues," Fremaux said of this year's fest. He added: "I'm convinced that this year will be a joyous and energetic year and we're doing everything to make that possible."

The Festival de Cannes is set to run May 12-23.
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