Monday, 17 January 2011

The Eagle Draws Nearer

Eagle movie posterThey're ramping up the publicity for the movie version of Rosemary Sutcliff's Eagle of the Ninth (which I blogged about here and here).

The movie will be released as "The Eagle", apparently to avoid confusion over the fate of Eagles I-VIII.

Last week, the Film Stage web site pointed to the featurette on Yahoo! Movies, claiming that The Eagle is "a movie I'm fairly certain I had never heard of until ten minutes ago". Shame on you, Film Stage! Some of us have been following the slowly unfolding saga since 2003.

The stand-out quote for this old emperor was Director Kevin Macdonald's claim, in the context of "Roman Britain, Celtic Britain", that "no-one knows what people who lived then were like". So it seems that the archaeologists may as well just pack their bags and forget it.

But he is right when he says that "it's a great, great story, and there aren't many great stories in the world which just take hold of your throat and lead you the entire way, and I think this is one of those great stories."

True. But is it going to be one of those great movies?


  1. It is (going to be) one of those great movies: although this is not a disinterested claim, since I am a relative of Rosemary Sutcliff; but on the other hand my claim is based on having the fortune to see a preview with cast and crew late last year.

    I enjoyed your trenchant comments, and your vigour as someone 1924 years young. (More on Rosemary and her work - and the film - )

  2. As long as its nothing like Centurion, which was virtually as bad as a Roman film can get.

    Cheers Paul

  3. "As long as its nothing like Centurion, which was virtually as bad as a Roman film can get."

    How quickly we have forgotten "The Last Legion" or even "Gladiator."

    Centurion was not a bad film, it just had very little to do with ancient Rome. It could just as well have been set in 16th Century Korea with our "heroes" being samurai caught behind Chinese lines.

    That said, Centurion devolved into a chase film akin to The Naked Prey, and some of the trailers indicate that Eagle might be traveling down that very same road. Perhaps not. Trailers have a way of fooling the public about the quality of the film advertised and in fact this film might turn out to be pretty good. At least we can hope.

  4. My fingers are firmly crossed, but i AM very worried. I hope my fears are proven wrong!

    Anonymous of London (Formerly of Durham)

  5. Just spotted this - I confess, I haven't read the article in question, mainly because I'm reluctant to give the Daily Mail any more hits than they already get...

  6. Thank you, Juliette. I think you have just given me the subject for my next blog post!

  7. Charlotte Higgins of the Guardian on-line newspaper lists her "Five historical clangers in Kevin Macdonald's The Eagle" here.