The new Robin Hood: Origins film has its titular hero, the apple of his eye, and now the final addition to the iconic trio has been cast. Jamie Foxx, star of the Annie reboot and steadfast defender of Straight Outta Compton at the Golden Globes, is our new Little John.
Deadline was the first to report the news of Foxx’s casting. According to the trade, this version of Little John isn’t like the typical balding, plump mentor we’re used to. He’s “a battle hardened but war weary” muscle man coming off of The Crusades, during which time he fought on the opposite side of Robin Hood. As such, he’s initially distrustful of the “steal from the rich, give to the poor” rebel, but, obviously, the two will become as thick as thieves.
Taron Egerton, who caught our attention in Kingsman: The Secret Service, plays Robin, while Eve Hewson (Cinemax’s The Knick) is Maid Marian. Otto Bathurst, known for directing various TV shows such as Peaky Blinders, is helming the film, said to be a “gritty revisionist take” on the story — basically as Dark Knight-y as Robin Hood could be. Meanwhile, the script is written by Joby Harold, who finished revamping another classic story legend (King Arthur) for director Guy Ritchie and his star Charlie Hunnam.
Much like the beginning of Arrow or, well, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, this version of Robin has been away for a while (thanks to The Crusades) and finds his home (Sherwood Forest) filled with corruption. He forms a band of outlaws to take it back, and I’m half expecting Egerton to say something like, “I’ve failed this forest,” as he pins his enemies to trees via arrows through the hands.
Foxx hasn’t appeared in anything since Annie, which was back in 2014, so he’s in need of something to give his star status a helpful boost — something bigger than his scene-stealing jabs at the Golden Globes, though he’s redeemed himself a bit after quietly calling out Quentin Tarantino for his use of “ghetto” during that odd acceptance speech.