The 63rd Festival de Cannes opens tonight at 7:15 with the screening of Robin Hood by British director Ridley Scott, presented Out of Competition. The film traces the origins of the legend of the "prince of thieves". Robin, an archer of the King of England, returns home from the Crusades and attempts to help the common people who are oppressed by Prince John, the despotic successor to Richard the Lion Hearted. The team that made this film will be the first to go up the steps, with Cate Blanchett, Josh Brolin, French actress Léa Seydoux and co-producer Russell Crowe, who plays Robin Hood. The Australian actor, who took part in the Festival de Cannes in 1995 with The Quick and the Dead and again in 1997 with L.A Confidential, is returning this time under the direction of Ridley Scott, with whom he has worked for the past ten years.
In 2000, Ridley Scott took the audacious step of reviving a genre that had gone out of fashion since the 60s: the “sword and sandals epic”. He chose an actor who had been discovered three years earlier in Curtis Hanson’s L.A Confidential, written by Brian Helgeland, who returns as screenwriter for Robin Hood. The fate of Ridley Scott’s epic revival in 2000 is well known: the role of Maximus was Russell Crowe’s chance to win the Oscar for Best Actor and the film was very well received both at the box office and by the critics. It was the start of collaboration between Scott and Crowe that includes A Good Year in 2006, American Gangster in 2007 and Body of Lies in 2008. With Ridley Scott’s latest project, Russell Crowe joins the prestigious list of actors who have brought the “highway robber” to life, alongside Douglas Fairbanks, Errol Flynn, Sean Connery and Kevin Costner. Robin Hood signals Ridley Scott’s return to the Croisette almost 20 years after the Out of Competition selection of Thelma and Louise in 1991.