ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – No mud. No pitchforks. And definitely no “guys in tights running around swashbuckling.” Director Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders) knew he would need to lay down a few ground rules if he was going to blow the cobwebs out of Sherwood Forest. But hold on to the hero: “You don’t become a legend for 800 years if you’ve just stolen a few bags of money from rich people to give to the poor,” Bathurst told EW on the Budapest set in April. “In my mind, Robin Hood was this sort of seriously militarized anarchist revolutionary, a freedom thinker and a truth seeker. And the more I got into the story, it just became startling how utterly relevant it is to what’s going on in society now.”
His Robin, 28-year-old Taron Egerton, agrees: “I was approached not long after the first Kingsman movie had come out, and my initial response, to be totally honest, was ‘Why?’ [But] Otto told me he wanted to do something entirely revisionist, something that can’t be tied down to a medieval universe. The first act of the movie, these scenes crusading in Syria, were written like something from The Hurt Locker. It was fantastic, and that was enough to convince me.” Also on board: Merry Men Jamie Foxx (Little John) and Jamie Dornan (Will Scarlett), and The Knick‘s Eve Hewson as Maid Marian. And Ben Mendelsohn steps into the Sheriff of Nottingham’s boots — a role that for many is still defined by the late Alan Rickman in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. “I ain’t gonna be outdoing him,” he admits. “That performance is a delightful tour de force, and I knew and loved the man. But I get a kick out of [sharing it], and I think he would have too.”
Foxx, for one, is already a Mendelsohn superfan: “He’s venomous. So good. There are some people that can just whup your ass. Him, Samuel Jackson, Viola Davis: ass whuppers.” And he says he too felt galvanized by Bathurst’s vision, freed from the constraints of period-perfect accents, costumes, and soundtrack cues. “I wanted to be part of it because it’s hood, not Robin Hood. He’s making it new and interesting, and it gives it weight.” Though one early promise might have been broken, Egerton admits with a laugh: “I did initially say the only thing I wouldn’t do was wear tights, and the pants did sort of get tighter and tighter… Let’s just call them jeggings now.”
‘Papillon’ will have its world premiere during Toronto Film Festival (September 7-17). We don’t know if Eve is going to attend but we will keep an eye on it.
SCREENDAILY – World premieres of Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain, and Dominic Cooke’s Ian McEwan adaptation On Chesil Beach with Saoirse Ronan (pictured) are among 32 additional Special Presentations films to join the Toronto roster on Tuesday.
The Papillon remake with Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek, Cannes hits The Florida Project by Sean Baker and In The Fade by Fatih Akin, as well as Feng Xiaogang’s Youth also take their place in the Special Presentations line-up.
DEADLINE – Lionsgate released a number of release date changes this afternoon, chiefly that its Leonardo DiCaprio-produced Robin Hood will now open on September 21, 2018 in Imax versus the previous March 23 date next year. Robin Hood will be a destination for older guys with the only competition that weekend being Sony’s kid pic Goosebumps 2.
Peaky Blinders’ Otto Bathurst directs Taron Egerton (Robin Hood), Jamie Foxx (Little John), Jamie Dornan (Will Scarlett), Eve Hewson (Maid Marian) and Paul Anderson in what is a darkly toned title that follows the classic hero following his Crusades battles. Returning to Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood finds it rife with corruption and evil. He forms a band of outlaws, and they take matters into their own hands, leading a revolt against the corrupt English crown.
March 23 was quite crowded with Paramount’s Action Point and Sherlock Gnomes and Universal/Legendary’s Pacific Rim Uprising. Key word here for Robin Hood on its new date in September next year: The film has Imax screens.
VARIETY – Jaeden Lieberher will star as a kid who runs away from home in the search of his estranged mother in “The True Adventures of Wolfboy,” Variety has learned.
The 14-year-old actor from “St. Vincent,” “It,” and “Midnight Special” will share the screen with John Turturro, Chris Messina, Eve Hewson (from “The Knick”), and Chloe Sevigny in this coming-of-age story.
Other co-stars include Sophie Giannamore (“Transparent”) and Tony-nominee Michelle Wilson (“Sweat”).
The indie will be fully financed by K Period Media, the boutique production company launched by Kimberly Steward in 2013 that hit a home run with its first feature, the Oscar-winning drama “Manchester by the Sea.” The film’s producers are “K Period’s” Steward, Josh Godfrey, and Lauren Beck; Big Indie Pictures’ Declan Baldwin; and Heroes and Villains Entertainment’s Benjamin Blake.
“The True Adventures of Wolfboy” will mark the directorial debut for Martin Krejci, who made the short film “Fricassee” that played at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. The script is from “Year of the Rooster” playwright Olivia Dufault.
Production on the movie will begin in September. UTA Independent Film Group and WME Global will sell the title to distributors.
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DEADLINE – Cinemax has made it official — Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick will not produce more seasons beyond the two that already had aired. Clive Owen, who starred in the first two seasons, had said that he was done, though the network had left the door slightly open for another installment with a new lead actor. Cinemax will now focus completely on its recalibrated original programming strategy — launched recently with the pickups of new Strike Back series and Rellik — as the network is returning to the type of fare that launched its push into original primetime series: fun, high-octane, action, pulpy, straight-to-series dramas done in a cost-effective way primarily as international co-productions. Here is the statement by Cinemax’s programming chief Kary Antholis:
“After a critically acclaimed two-season run of The Knick on Cinemax, we will not be going forward with additional episodes of the series,” said Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “Despite our pride in and affection for the series, as well as our respect for and gratitude towards Steven Soderbergh and his team, we have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas, many of which will be internationally co-produced.”
The Knick was part of a push into high-end, homegrown drama series initiative at HBO sibling Cinemax. It started with Banshee, which ran for four seasons, followed by The Knick, Outcast, whose second season doesn’t have a premiere date yet, and Quarry, whose renewal for a second season appears unlikely. In an interview with Deadline in December, when Cinemax’s shift to action drama co-productions was announced, Antholis called The Knick “one of the most rewarding creative experiences of my career,” “Critics loved the show, and I can’t tell you how many studio executives around town have told me it’s their favorite show on television, but it did not find an audience at the level that Banshee did. Even though in terms of an HBO show, The Knick is a modestly priced show, in terms of a Cinemax show, it started to throw our budget out of whack.”