Magazine June 7, 2010, Issue

Meanwhile, Back in Sherwood . . .

Russell Crowe as Robin Longstride (Universal)

If you’re going to tamper with a classic story, you’d better have an idea that justifies the reinvention. When Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott were first attached to the movie that eventually became this month’s Robin Hood, they seemed to understand that principle. The film’s working title was “Nottingham,” and it promised to retell the tale of England’s most famous outlaw from the sheriff’s point of view, turning the Nottingham lawman into the hero of the story and portraying Robin and his Merry Men as the villains.

It wasn’t the most original idea, perhaps: Novelists have used the “rehabilitate the bad

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