Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood to open Cannes

Russell Crowe as Robin Hood
Robin Hood is Crowe's fifth film with Sir Ridley Scott

British director Ridley Scott's new film Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe, has been selected to open the annual Cannes Film Festival in May.

The film, about the birth of the Robin Hood legend, also stars Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian, and William Hurt.

It will be screened out of competition on the opening night of the 12-day festival on 12 May.

Nationwide release in France will begin on the same day, with screenings across the world from 14 May.

In 2008 it was reported that production of the movie had been delayed, with studio Universal Pictures citing script concerns and location issues.

Cate Blanchett
Blanchett was recently seen in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The film, which was originally touted to feature Sienna Miller as Maid Marian, has undergone several rewrites, with Crowe at one point mooted to play both Robin and his nemesis the Sheriff of Nottingham.

British actor Matthew Macfadyen - best known as Mr Darcy to Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice - will now play the Sheriff.

Previous actors to tackle the Robin Hood role include Sean Connery, Errol Flynn and Kevin Costner.

Early award

The movie reunites Crowe, 45, and Scott, 72, who first worked together on the hit 2000 movie Gladiator.

However subsequent collaborations, including 2008's Body of Lies and wine comedy A Good Year (2006), have proved less successful.

It is only Scott's third appearance at the French festival. His early work, The Duellists, appeared in competition in 1977, winning the Best First Work award. Thelma and Louise screened out of competition in 1991.

Robin Hood - originally entitled Nottingham - was adapted for the big screen by Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar in 1997 for LA Confidential.

Director Tim Burton will head the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Last year's opening film was the hit animated film Up, which won two Oscars earlier this month.



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