Two Robin Hoods joined forces in the heart of Nottingham to flag up the latest Sherwood Forest movie blockbuster - and to unveil a promotion that could help generate a lucrative tourism dividend.
A new Robin Hood movie is on its way, and Nottingham is hoping to reap the rewards
The launch of the new Robin Hood Campaign initiative
From the steps of the Council House the city’s official Robin, Tim Pollard, addressed Winter Wonderland shoppers: “My lords, ladies and gentlemen … outlaws and in-laws….” The bowman from the Robin Hood Legacy tourist attraction, Adam Greenwood, continued: "Did you know there is going to be a new Robin Hood film? Let us tell you more, good people …" The movie, initially titled 'Robin Hood: Origins', directed by Otto Bathurst, has Kingsman star Taron Egerton in the title role with Eve Hewson as Maid Marian, Jamie Foxx as Little John and Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck. It has been shot on locations in Europe including Hungary, France and Croatia. Filming ended in May and after some re-shoots it is expected to be packaged for a premiere in September 2018, with the publicity drive beginning mid-summer. The two Robins introduced not only the film, but also a key local promotion: Hoodwinked, a free public art sculpture trail that will be seen on the streets of Nottingham next summer. Hoodwinked sees Robin Hood in disguise … the master archer transformed into a red-breasted robin. About 30 robin sculptures will be on display in the city centre from July to September, each one unique, designed and decorated by an artist. The project is being organised with the mass participation arts organisation Wild in Art.
"The Wild in Art sculpture trail will be great for business, bring in tourists and encourage the people of Nottingham to explore their own city," said a city council spokesman. "And after the trail the sculptures will be auctioned to encourage to raise money for the Hoodwinked charity partner, Nottingham Hospice." Artists with ideas for designs are asked to get in touch. So are local businesses who may be keen to get involved in what promises to be one of the biggest events in Nottingham next year (see footnote*). Nottinghamshire's Sherwood Forest may be the home of the Robin Hood legends but the county cannot provide the outdoor locations that film directors require. The closest we came was a scene in the Russell Crowe 2010 film Robin Hood, which made use of Derbyshire's dramatic Peak District. However, TV and film departures into the Robin Hood stories tend to put spikes into Nottinghamshire tourism statistics and the hope is that the 2018 movie will generate the same interest as Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and the 2010 Crowe vehicle, directed by Ridley Scott. "Locally the tourism campaigns will start next spring, but we wanted to make people aware, right now, of what is coming up" said Marysia Zipser, founder of Art-Culture-Tourism (ACT), the Notts-based agency which organised the launch event in Old Market Square. "We have to accept that we have not got the sites or the land on which Robin Hood films can be shot but Nottinghamshire still has to take advantage. I think this film can do a job for Notts." *Potential artists and sponsors for Hoodwinked can find more information on www.hoodwinked2018.co.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .