Thursday Thirteen: Will Scarlet(t)s

Here is a list of thirteen Will Scarlet(t) of silver and small screens. This is not definitive; according to IMDB, there have been 34 Wills in movies, television, and even a video game or two. These thirteen are just the most noteworthy, in my humble and well-studied opinion.

No, I lie--I really just watched Prince of Thieves a thousands times. All others are inferior, except for my own delicious creation. He's Teh Awesome.

Christian Slater in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves1. Christian Slater in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991): "Fuck me, he cleared it." Do you know how many times I've already been quoted this? Random folks, when they learn about REDEEMING WILL SCARLET, suddenly drop the F-bomb in honor of Slater's famous line. His Will became the whiny symbol of Gen X angst and remains the only example of Will being Robin Hood's brother (most times he was either a nephew or a friend). Slater complained on the DVD commentary that his Will is so wussy he gets beat up by a 12-yo kid. Whatta man!

Matthew Poretta in Robin Hood: Men in Tights2. Matthew Poretta as Will Scarlet O'Hara in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993): It's pretty sad when a terrible Mel Brooks parody of Will is a bigger badass than Slater's version. He's funny, handsome, wields knives, and is actually useful in a fight! Imagine that!

3. Charles Hundt in Robin Hood (1912): The first cinematic portrayal of Will Scarlet, this was the most expensive movie to date when it was produced at the Fort Lee studios in New Jersey. Movies in 1912 don't elicit as many exclamation points from me. I'm ageist.

Paul Eddington, Richard Greene, and Patricia Driscoll4. Paul Eddington in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1955-59): Another record, this time for the longest portrayal of Will Scarlet by an actor.

5. Paul Smith in The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood (1969): The only Robin Hood porno listed on IMDB, this fine offering receives a 2.4/10 rating. If you love it, the site also recommends Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks. Why is it that every German dominatrix in 70s porn was named Ilsa? I'm offended on my Ilsa's behalf.

Harry Lloyd in Robin Hood6. Harry Lloyd in "Robin Hood" (2006-present): This is Will's current incarnation in popular culture, featured in the BBC family drama that also stars series-stealing Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne. The only problem I have with Lloyd is that today's crop of Robin Hood fans think he's the ideal Will. Supplanter!

Worf as Will7. Sonja Bell in "Rocket Robin Hood" (1966-69): The only female on the list, Bell provided Will's voice in this strange cartoon that featured Robin Hood in space. I guess they were trying to bring the legend clumsily into the space age.

8. Worf (Michael Dorn) as Will Scarlet in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" called "Qpid" (1987): Q sends the crew to a fantasy world where they all take up Robin Hood personas, with Picard as Robin and Q as the sheriff.

9. Sammy Davis Jr. as Will in Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964): The Rat Pack takes on Robin Hood with Frank Sinatra as Robbo and Dean Martin as Little John.

10. Crispin Letts in Princess of Thieves (2001): Will is reduced to offering parenting advice to an aging Robin Hood. Shameful.

Patrick Knowles and Errol Flynn11. Patrick Knowles The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938): This movie defined the classic and enduring image of Robin Hood as played by Errol Flynn. Green tights all around!

12. Denholm Elliot in Robin and Marian (1976): Marcus Brody of Indiana Jones fame played Will in a high-powered cast: Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Harris, and Robert Shaw. I need to see this!

Ray Winstone in Robin of Sherwood13. Ray Winstone in "Robin of Sherwood" (1984-86): Winstone and the creators behind this BBC series must be credited with the badest badass Will Scarlet. They finally brought him back from the brink of frilly foppishness, mercifully returning him to the classic warrior Will of the earliest ballads.

And now I'm anticipating to Ridley Scott's upcoming Nottingham, starring Russell Crowe as the Sheriff. Who would make a most excellent Will Scarlet these days? Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

Russell Crow is Robin Hood. The sheriff is Matthew McFayden and Scott Grimes is Will Scarlet... You may know this by now though.

You may think Lloyd wasn't the best Robin Hood, but he did well with what he was given.... He wasn't a key player in the show.

Carrie Lofty said...

Yes, it would've been useful if this had come out last summer when it was supposed to! What a great tie-in that would've been. Can't wait to see McFayden as the sheriff, although it'll be another case of rooting for the villain (a la Richard Armitage in the BBC's "Robin Hood").