With The Reader and Australia in the awards-season rearview mirror, Hollywood desperately needs a new soap opera to occupy its time. They might have it with Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott's oft-delayed Nottingham.
We're just glad to hear it's still technically alive after months' worth of starts and stops, but never more glad than we were this morning to hear that the behind-the-scenes drama has achieved thrilling new levels of acrimony. Reports today have Universal and Imagine eyeing a March starting date for the revisionist Robin Hood drama, if only long-time collaborators Crowe and Scott were getting along:
Sources say Crowe blames Scott for the disastrous drubbing their fourth collaboration, Body of Lies, received from critics and at the box office last summer, and no longer wants to work with the British director.
"Ridley is the only one who is willing to stand up to Russell and tell him he's too fat and that he can't show up four hours late to the set," said one source. "He [Russell] wants someone he can control."
The actor and director share an agent at William Morris, a representative for whom denied any such edicts or prerequisites for Crowe, who hasn't had a hit with Scott since Gladiator in 2000. But it would seem a reasonable split under the circumstances, with Crowe already having succumbed to Imagine's trainer-to-the-stars and Scott surely having better things to do than bump around the forest for two months with a drama magnet who can't even open a movie. But enough about Sienna Miller. Maybe it is time for a change after all; Ron Howard seems a close, innocuous friend of all involved, with friendlier, Cinderella Man-era euphemisms like, "Let's do that one again, but slimmer" and, "Rice cake, Russell — I mean, nice take, Russell" coaxed Crowe into fighting trim without the old-school taskmastering.