William Hurt is going period.  The Oscar winner rarely steps outside contemporary cinema, but the appeal of working with Ridley Scott must be too hard to turn down.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hurt will join Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett in Scott's untitled and continually refashioned Robin Hood project.

Currently intended as a retelling of the Nottingham legends' origins,  the picture features Crowe as Robin Hood and Blanchett as Maid Marian.  The cast also includes Scott Grimes ("E.R."), Kevin Durand ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine") and Crowe buddy Alan Doyle as the Merry Men.

Hurt will play William Marshall, the Earl of Pembroke, a real-life figure who was a servant to the Plantagenent kings and, according to the trade, one of the best jousters of the era.  Whether the 59-year-old Hurt will actually joust is unclear.

This will be Hurt's first mainstream project since completing 13 episodes of the critically acclaimed second season of "Damages." He also has the indie "The River Why," Julie Delphy's "The Countess" and "Endgame" in the can, but at this point it's doubtful whether any of the films will be released in the United States.

Production on Scott's new Robin Hood is currently underway in the U.K.