Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

From Academic Kids

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a 1991 film directed by Kevin Reynolds.

Kevin Costner heads the cast list as Robin Hood. The film also starred Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian, Morgan Freeman as Azeem, Christian Slater as Will Scarlett and Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The film is remembered as the movie coupled with the Bryan Adams ballad (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (available on Waking Up the Neighbours) which broke pop charts records for the length of time it remained at Number One.

The film was well-received at the box office, though critics complained about Costner's on-again, off-again British accent. Rickman's comedic performance as the Sheriff garnered wide praise, however.


This movie is sometimes accused of being overly politically correct, to the point where it interferes with the story. For example, when Maid Marian is introduced she fights Robin while wearing a skintight "ninja" outfit but is a helpless damsel in distress at the end of the movie. Azeem, a Saracen in England, becomes the main supporting character, sapping the classical Robin Hood characters such as Little John and Friar Tuck of all their vigor.

The movie also leaves out many of the traditional elements associated with Robin Hood: for example, there is no archery contest.


The screenplay for this film drew almost exclusively on the British TV series Robin of Sherwood. As such Morgan Freeman was originally to play a character named Nasir, until stuntman Terry Walsh (who worked on both projects) pointed out to director Kevin Reynolds that Nasir was created specifically for Robin of Sherwood and does not appear in any other telling of the Robin Hood legend. As such the character is the property of Robin of Sherwood creator Richard Carpenter. To avoid a lawsuit, Reynolds changed the name of Nasir to Azeem.

This caused a rift between Walsh and Carpenter, as the latter was aware his character was being used without permission and had planned to wait until the movie was released before suing the studio and director, and using the money to fund a revival of his TV series.

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