Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe to star in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood epic

Cate Blanchett is attached to play Maid Marian opposite Russell Crowe as Robin Hood in a Ridley Scott-directed epic retelling of Robin Hood, according to Variety. The project was titled Nottingham, but underwent a name change ahead of it April production start.

Angels & Demons producer Brian Grazer will steer the film, along with the director.

Originally written by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, the script recently had a rewrite by Brian Helgeland, and has evolved into a more gritty version of the Robin Hood legend, described by Variety as “Gladiator” style.

The film will be shot at a $130 million budget, benefiting from favorable exchange rates and tax credits that come from shooting in the U.K. Scott will be aiming for a PG-13 rating.

Crowe is set to play Robin of Loxley in an original story that stays close to the historical facts of the period. Abandoned as a child, he finds community with the common people of Nottingham. The anti-hero’s trust issues hamper his ability to fall in love, until he meets his match in the strong and independent Marian.

Robin Hood is due in theaters sometime in 2010.