Blanchett on target for Uni's Robin Hood


Universal's Robin Hood movie has another arrow in its quiver.

The untitled production, formerly named "Nottingham," is casting its Maid Marian, with Cate Blanchett in final negotiations to play the part.

Russell Crowe will play Robin Hood, with Ridley Scott directing the pic. Scott also is producing with Imagine's Brian Grazer.

The Robin Hood project has evolved considerably since its inception, when Universal won a heated bidding war in February 2007 to pick up a revisionist take on the legend with a script by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris.

The script was based on the idea of making the Sheriff of Nottingham a good guy. Crowe was attached to play the sheriff, who was to have been an investigator learning more about the thief known as Robin Hood.

Brian Helgeland came on board to rewrite the script in mid-2007 and seemed to have never left, so even as Sienna Miller was in negotiations in June to play Maid Marian, the script was undergoing major undulations.

The project also was in preproduction at the time, though it was pushed back because of SAG concerns as well as budget and script issues. (partialdiff)

Most of those issues seem to have been ironed out, with the movie, now an epic adventure focused on retelling the origins of its key characters, prepping for an April shoot in the U.K. Budgeted at about $130 million, the film also is taking advantage of the U.K.'s tax scheme and a more advantageous currency exchange.

Blanchett, repped by CAA, is onscreen in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." (partialdiff)
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