Sony Pictures has emerged as the victor in a bidding war for a new project to be spearheaded by Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie. Per Deadline, the spec script Marian is a reimagining of the Robin Hood story with a female-driven twist—Robbie stars as the eponymous Maid Marian who, after a conspiracy to conquer England results in Robin Hood’s death before her eyes, picks up the cause and leads a war by donning the Robin Hood mantle and becoming a legend in her own right.
The script was written on spec by newcomer Pete Barry and gained the attention of Robbie and producers Amy Pascal and Donald De Line, who will spearhead the project along with Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment and fellow producer Rock Shaink’s Romark Entertainment. The take is described as gritty and grim, in the vein of Braveheart meets Game of Thrones. While this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard this description aimed at a reboot of well-trodden territory, turning the Robin Hood legend on its head with a female lead instantly makes this more interesting.
A couple of years ago Hollywood caught Robin Hood fever, putting into development a series of different takes on the story at various studios. Production is currently underway on Lionsgate’s gritty Taron Egerton-fronted origin story Robin Hood: Origins, but at one point Disney was also developing its own franchise-starter called Nottingham & Hood while an independent futuristic take is also in the works. In fact, Sony itself ponied up a whopping $1 million back in 2014 for an Avengers-style shared universe Robin Hood pitch called Hood. That project obviously never came to fruition, but it appears Sony is still going to make a Robin Hood movie—just not that one.
Robbie is currently filming the Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya, which she’s also producing, and she’s developing a Harley Quinn-spinoff film called Gotham City Sirens that will cull together female characters from the DC Comics universe. Her Suicide Squad director David Ayer is onboard to helm that pic, but the film was actually her idea as Robbie has been using her higher profile to spearhead the kinds of movies she wants to see get made. She broke out in a big way in Wolf of Wall Street where she proved she’s an immense acting talent, but she’s been balancing all kinds of films in its wake from romantic comedies (Focus) to indies (Z for Zachariah) to blockbusters (The Legend of Tarzan) that showcase her versatility.
Robbie seems a swell fit to lead her own action franchise like Marian, so here’s hoping this is one Robin Hood movie that actually gets made.