The Wachowskis Want Will Smith For Modern Urban Robin Hood Tale

The Wachowskis have had two films in the works for a while now, but since “Cobalt Neural 9” is still having trouble finding funding and “Cloud Atlas” is also slow to gain traction, it looks like the filmmaking duo has decided to look to new material for their next project. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that “Matrix” co-directors Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski have teamed up with Warner Bros. for a modern urban retelling of the Robin Hood tale called “Hood.”

They’ve already written the script and, unsurprisingly, will direct the film, though they aren’t letting slip the particulars of the plot. However, insiders did say that the Wachowskis are already reaching out to some actors, including Will Smith, to star.

For those of you who can remember this far back, the Wachowskis originally wanted Smith to play the role of Neo in “The Matrix,” but since (at the time) the plot sounded a bit sketchy, he decided to pass on the flick for a guaranteed hit, “Wild Wild West.” Keanu Reeves got the role, and we’re all shaking our heads at Smith more than a decade later — but it sounds like the Wachowskis still haven’t given up hope of working with the blockbuster star.

The strategy here seems to be that the Wachowskis needs to make another successful film like “The Matrix” trilogy to prove that a riskier film like “Cobalt Neural 9″ or “Cloud Atlas” will be a smash. The Wachowskis rose to fame with their mind-bending trilogy, but their next film, “Speed Racer,” was by no means a hit (though it was fun to watch). An urban Robin Hood film sounds like it would be easier for the public to swallow than a futuristic retelling of the Iraqi war with a gay romance or a film which spans several centuries and follows a reborn soul through history.

Modern retellings are also the hottest thing around right now. “Beastly” is poised to hit theaters in the spring and a modern reboot of “Frankenstein” was just announced, so “Hood” should fit nicely into the fold. And since the Wachowskis’ version of the story will likely be much more visually striking and fun than Ridley Scott’s somber retelling last year, it will likely be a hit as well.

Would you rather see the Wachowskis come out with “Hood” first, or one of their other projects?