The Eagle of The Ninth – MIA In Hollywood
(David Reinke, Ancient Warfare Magazine)
When it was announced, several years ago, that Hollywood was embarking on a feature film adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliff’s YA novel, The Eagle Of The Ninth, there was cautious optimism that a much beloved book would finally give viewers a more authentic vision of the Roman Empire than heretofore had graced the silver screen. There was good cause for hope.
The creative team of director Kevin Macdonald and writer Jeremy Brock had just received well deserved accolades for their film The Last King Of Scotland, and although the myth of the Ninth Legion’s disappearance had long since been put to rest, Sutcliff’s novel told a rousing story that seemed perfectly suited to the big screen. Casting announcements and early on-set photos sounded notes of caution concerning authenticity, both to history and to the source novel, however it was the decision to change the films title from Eagle Of The Ninth to simply The Eagle that sounded the loudest alarms. Why change the title? Now, having seen the film, the answer is obvious: This is not The Eagle Of The Ninth.
… If you are a fan of the book then you are likely too be very disappointed. Likewise, if you are a fan of films set in ancient Rome, The Eagle will serve, but only just.
Certainly without me …