Australian actress Margot Robbie is officially attached to star in Marian, a standalone movie that provides a different take on the Robin Hood legends, according to the Guardian. The movie will focus on the aftermath of Robin Hood’s death and be centered around Marian’s journey becoming the leader of the resistance and her taking up the mantle of her deceased lover.
Robbie herself first burst onto the scene of Hollywood with her role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. She later went on to star as the lead in dystopian drama Z for Zachariah and more commercial Hollywood films such as Focus, The Legend of Tarzan, and as the memorable Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie is currently filming I, Tonya, a biographic film about Tonya Harding, the American figure skater who later became embroiled in a scandal involving an attack on her competitor Nancy Kerrigan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marian, which will star Robbie and be produced by Sony, is not the only Robin Hood-related project currently in the works. Re-imaginings of the crusader include a modern-day TV series, a futuristic take by visual effects supervisor Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull, and an origin story starring Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx and Jamie Dornan that is set to hit theaters in March of 2018. Among all these different projects, Marian, however, seems to be the only one that will put a female character front and center in its take on a traditionally male-dominant narrative.
Stories of Robin Hood, the heroic outlaw, and his band of Merry Men have long served as creative fodder for film adaptations. A cinematic rendering of the tale of the folkloric hero began as early as 1938 with The Adventures of Robin Hood. More recent iterations of the tale of Robin Hood include the Ridley Scott-directed Robin Hood (2010), which starred Russell Crowe as the titular hero, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), which stars Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman. Walt Disney Productions also made Robin Hood, an animation musical released in 1973, using anthropomorphized animals as characters, rather than humans.
Marian, a more female-driven interpretation of the Robin Hood legends, seems to be part of a growing trend in Hollywood to reboot or develop spin-offs of past films with female leads or all-female casts. In the Star Wars franchise, the sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and the standalone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story both boasted strong female characters as their protagonists. Last year, there was the all-female Ghostbusters reboot, which starred top-tier comedians Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon, and next year audiences will be treated with Ocean’s Eight, which boasts an embarrassment of riches in its casting, including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, and Anne Hathaway.
Margot Robbie’s attachment to Marian won’t be the first time she’s had to inject an iconic role with a more modern sensibility. In The Legend of Tarzan, her Jane is resourceful and strong-willed, a contemporary update of the character that is nonetheless secondary to Tarzan regarding the weight of the character. There is therefore little doubt that Robbie will find a meatier role in Marian, a role that will frame her as a legend in her own right, rather than merely a romantic interest of the hero. Along with Marian, one of Robbie’s upcoming projects includes Gotham City Sirens, a film that will showcase the most popular villainesses in DC comics and see the actress return as Harley Quinn. Robbie will also serve as the executive producer of the movie.
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