Robin Hood director describes felling of Sycamore Gap Tree 'senseless'
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves director describes felling of Sycamore Gap Tree ‘senseless’ as he compares loss to death of Alan Rickman
- Kevin Reynolds, 71, directed the 1991 adventure tale alongside Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham
The director of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has expressed his deep sadness at the felling of the tree at Sycamore Gap comparing his sense of loss to the death of actor Alan Rickman.
Kevin Reynolds, 71, who directed the 1991 adventure tale featuring the star-studded cast of Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman, chose Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall as a film location after he visited it as a student.
‘I know some people will say you can’t compare the death of a tree to the death of a person but I think some things are so iconic, so perfect in their being, that they have a profound effect on people as this does,’ he told the BBC.
‘So I think that this comparison is justified and I know Alan would agree with it.’
Pictured: Kevin Reynolds, 71, who directed the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Mr Reynolds described Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall as ‘one of the most quintessentially idyllic spots in the world and now it’s gone, it’s murdered, and for what reason?’
Pictured: Scene from Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves which featured Sycamore gap as a film location in 1991
Pictured: The tree, which was felled by an unknown person on 28 September
The Emmy nominated director described how he was completely blown away when he first saw the tree as a college student visiting the UK.
He said: ‘Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall was one of the most quintessentially idyllic spots in the world and now it’s gone, it’s murdered, and for what reason?
‘Would you destroy the Taj Mahal, the Gullfoss Falls in Iceland or the Big Dipper?
‘This is the second loss Prince of Thieves has suffered in the last couple of years – Alan Rickman and now this.’
Mr Rickman, who played the Sheriff of Nottingham in the movie, died in 2016 after a battle with cancer.
The tree had stood for over 200 years after it was planted in the 1800s by John Clayton
Pictured: Parts of the tree being removed from Hadrian’s Wall. There are ongoing discussions about will be put there in memory of this landmark
Andrew Poad, a manager at the National Trust, said the film changed everything for the protected site: ‘When you were walking past or when we were working there, what you would see was parents walking the wall with their children and trying to replicate what they had seen in the film, which was the little boy running up the tree.’
The iconic landmark was chopped down in the early morning on 28 September by an unknown person.
So far the police have arrested two people in connection – former lumberjack Walter Renwick, 69, and a 16-year-old boy – both of whom have been released on bail.
The tree has now been removed from the wall in a final goodbye to its 200 year history.
Despite an ongoing discussion about how best to honour the site and whether it will be possible to regrow the tree from its stump, Mr Reynolds fears nothing can change the damage: ‘I guess trying to find a bright side, I am just grateful that we managed to get it on film so that it exists [there] at least, and people can see what it was and how glorious it was.
‘But it will never be the same.’
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