Director Ridley Scott had been due to start shooting Nottingham, with the Australian actor playing the Sheriff of Nottingham, this autumn.
But executives belatedly realised that halfway through filming the leaves in Sherwood Forest would turn brown - and then fall off the trees.
As the forest has always been a verdant green in the popular imagination, they have decided to put off filming until next spring.
Wrangles over the script and possible fall-out from an anticipated strike by the American Screen Actors Guild is also behind the delay, according to a statement by Hollywood giant Universal.
The film studio baldly stated: "The film's forest locations need to be green."
Nottingham takes a sympathetic look at Robin Hood's traditional foe, with Crowe swapping swashbuckling for a portrayal of a man torn between his duty to the reviled King John and his subjects, Telegraph reported.
Christian Bale had been tipped to play Robin Hood as a vigilante rather than a hero, while Miller is set to be play Maid Marian.
But to bring off such a feat, after centuries of the sheriff being cast as the villain, is a tricky act for even the best script writers. Universal has admitted they have not got there yet.
It has brought in Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with LA Confidential, to hone the script.
But executives are still not happy with it.
The statement confessed that "the current version is not yet where the studio and the film-makers want it to be in terms of realising the full value of the story."
It concluded: "Universal could have moved forward with one of their challenges, but the confluence of the three caused the studio to reconsider and take the time for all conditions to be optimal."
Ridley Scott, the British film director behind Bladerunner, most famously joined forces with Crowe to make Gladiator, which was released in 2000.
Since then he has directed Crowe in A Good Year and American Gangster.