You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Universal flies with Crowe

<b>Variety Exclusive:</b> Duo reunite for Robin Hood

Universal has nabbed spec script “Nottingham,” in a deal that will reunite Russell Crowe with Imagine Entertainment.

Crowe will receive $20 million against 20% to star as the Sheriff of Nottingham in this revisionist version of the Robin Hood story from the creators of “Sleeper Cell.”

Scribes Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris will receive seven figures for the script.

Imagine’s Brian Grazer will produce the pic, expected to start lensing at the end of the year or early 2008.

William Morris, which reps Crowe and the writers, put together the package.Deal reps the second big bidding battle U has won in past few days. Last week, the studio landed the rights to a pic about the Fugees, a refugee soccer club (Daily Variety, Jan. 25).

“Nottingham” is based on the premise that Robin Hood was less virtuous and the sheriff more noble than previously depicted. Story also involves a love triangle between Robin Hood, Maid Marion and Nottingham’s sheriff.

“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, a history buff.

He and Voris were halfway through the script when they started working on the first season of “Sleeper Cell”; ironically, they closed the deal days after learning Showtime would not be picking up their Emmy-nommed skein for a third season.

“It was a bitter pill, but this is a pretty good antidote,” Voris told Daily Variety.

Bidding was very competitive, with New Line and Warner Bros. vying for the project and Sony, New Regency and DreamWorks also expressing interest. Helmers Bryan Singer, Sam Raimi and Jon Turteltaub were attached at other studios.

Crowe has worked with Imagine several times, most recently on “American Gangster,” skedded for a Nov. 6 bow. He previously toplined “Cinderella Man” and “A Beautiful Mind” for Imagine. Crowe also stars in “3:10 to Yuma,” an upcoming Lionsgate pic helmed by James Mangold.

Reiff and Voris hadn’t written a spec script since 1995.

“We figured that this story was going to be hard to sell as a pitch,” Voris said. “We also knew that this would be very castable, since most of the leading men now are either English or Australian.”

Beyond WMA, writers are repped by Field Entertainment and attorney David Feldman.

(Dave McNary contributed to this report.)

More Scene

  • Cara Delevingne poses for photographers upon

    Cara Delevingne to be Honored with Hero Award at Trevor Project New York Gala

    The Trevor Project will honor Cara Delevingne with the Hero Award at its upcoming TrevorLIVE New York gala. Delevingne has supported The Trevor Project‘s efforts to end LGBTQ youth suicide rates, in addition to using her platform to speak out about mental health issues, women’s rights and animal conservation. On screen, she has acted in [...]

  • Kristen Stewart'JT LeRoy' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Kristen Stewart: 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is 'Woke' but Still 'Funny and Weird'

    “Charlie’s Angels” has made the jump to 2019. Kristen Stewart, who stars in the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot as one of the Angels, says the classic ’70s franchise has been updated to modern times without losing its pulpy action. “At one point I think we said it was woke and grounded, and everyone was like, ‘Wait, [...]

  • Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro Slams Trump Administration at Tribeca Opening Night

    The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened with Roger Ross Williams’ documentary “The Apollo” at the iconic uptown venue which performers and Harlem community members call “home.” “You can feel the history, the echo of the entertainers,” Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a speech before the film. “In this administration, during [...]

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

  • Ralph Fiennes attends a special screening

    Ralph Fiennes on Directing Rudolf Nureyev Biopic: 'It's Been a Very, Very Long Road'

    Ralph Fiennes celebrated his latest directorial outing, “The White Crow,” on Monday night in New York City. The Sony Pictures Classics film tells the story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “It’s been a very, very long road. We were mad. We were mad to take on this subject of Rudolf Nureyev. Mad. Completely mad,” Fiennes [...]

  • Taylor Swift Time 100 Performance

    Watch Taylor Swift's Time 100 Gala Performance and Speech

    Just two nights out from Taylor Swift D-day spring 2019 — i.e., Thursday’s release of a new single — Swift made an appearance Tuesday at the Time 100 event in New York, where she did not let loose with any spoiler performances of new music but did sing a few fan favorites, including “Style,” “Delicate,” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content