In a bid to reinvent the studio franchise, Paradigm is out with a hot new spec from writer Pete Barry titled MARIAN, which reimagines the legend of Robin Hood by making his traditional love interest Maid Marian the film’s lead.
The buzz started last night, when the script was slipped to a series of A-list producers and talent, including Alicia Vikander (just one of the award-winning actresses who’s circling). We’d heard it was a top secret spec based on a well-known property, and that it was being pitched as a female-driven epic in the vein of Braveheart and Gladiator.
After doing some digging, we were able to get some exclusive details about the project, which has been the talk of the town heading into Oscar weekend, as it could lead to Hollywood’s next big franchise. Check out the logline:
When a conspiracy to conquer England leads to the assassination of Robin Hood before her very eyes, Marian must rise to power and lead her people into a war that will not only decide the fate of her kingdom, but will see her don the mantle of the man she loved, and reimagine the story of a legend we thought we knew.
That sounds pretty freakin’ cool to me, and I could definitely see that saga spanning multiple movies.
With Twilight, The Hunger Games and the Divergent franchises in the rear view mirror these days, Hollywood has been busy prepping the next generation of female-driven action movies. There’s Ghost in the Shell (Paramount), Alita: Battle Angel (Fox) and Tomb Raider (Warner Bros.), plus rival superheroes Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, and a promotion for The Wasp in Disney/Marvel’s Ant-Man sequel.
The future of Hollywood is female, and Marian fits right in with that movement. It also offers an opportunity for a studio to hire a female director, which has become a high priority for many industry executives who actually care about serving the audience.
Additionally, by telling the story of Robin Hood from a female perspective, Marian puts a fresh spin on a time-worn tale. We’ve seen countless Robin Hood movies, and there’s yet another one coming up starring Taron Egerton. Hollywood needs to reinvent these classic franchises in order to keep them alive. I’ll be very curious to see how Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie performs later this year, as that’s an example of a franchise that may have been better served being reimagined as Guinevere — a character who doesn’t even seem to appear in the upcoming movie.
Another reason to expect Marian to find a home at a studio is David Boxerbaum, the Paradigm agent shopping the script. He’s on an absolute roll, having sold all seven specs that he has taken out this year, which is a remarkable conversion rate. His hot streak includes several female-driven projects such as John Swetnam’s female assassin script Ruthless, which was bought by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief