- Cast: Channing Tatum, Mark Strong, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Bell, Denis O'Hare, Dakin Matthews, Tahar Rahim, Douglas Henshall, Paul Ritter, Jon Campling, Paul Ritter, Julian Lewis Jones, Lukacs Bicskey, Jamie Beamish, Ben O'Brien, Brian Gleeson, Walter Van Dyk
- Director: Kevin Macdonald
- Writers: Jeremy Brock, Rosemary Sutcliff
- Producer: Duncan Kenworthy
- Co Producer: Caroline Hewitt
- Executive Producers: Miles Ketley, Charles Moore, Tessa Ross
- Art Direction: Peter Francis
- Castings: Des Hamilton, Jina Jay
- Costume Design: Michael O'Connor
- D.O.P.: Anthony Dod Mantle
- Editor: Justine Wright
- Makeup: Iván Pohárnok
- Music: Atli Örvarsson
- Production Design: Michael Carlin
- Set Decoration: Rebecca Alleway
In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Hungary; Scotland, UK
- MPAA Warning: Battle sequences and some disturbing images
- Production Budget: $20 million
- Production Companies: Toledo Productions, Film4, Focus Features
- Production Schedule: August 2009 - November 2009
2011 Guide Analysis: "This time last year, late 2010 was shaping up to be a fight of duelling sword and sandal movies about the famed lost Ninth Legion. The first was "The Descent" director Neil Marshall's $12 million, blue-tinted, action-heavy chase movie "Centurion" starring Michael Fassbender which explores those svents. The second was this $20 million action/drama which, though bearing no direct relation with "Centurion", could easily serve as an unofficial sequel considering the storyline is set several decades later.
'Eagle' has a stronger pedigree with "The Last King of Scotland" and "State of Play" director Kevin Macdonald at the helm, and a script based on Rosemary Sutcliff's acclaimed 1954 novel "The Eagle of the Ninth" that is quite well-known. Macdonald intends his film to be more concerned with being historically authentic and an exploration of anti-imperialist themes, whereas Marshall's was more a take no prisoners thrill ride.
Then the game board changed. "Centurion" premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and scored mixed reviews. Poorer reaction followed from regular critics a month later as the movie went into wide release in the UK. As a result, the movie was essentially dumped in the final week of Summer in the U.S. and ultimately flopped at the box-office.
'Eagle' meanwhile, originally set to open a month later, got pushed back five months and had its title shortened from the original book title to just "The Eagle" - some amusing speculation had people mistaking it for a golfing movie on title alone. Most delays are usually due to issues with the movie, this however is one of the few cases where there wasn't any problems. Shot in Hungary and Scotland late 2009, the production scored worldwide distribution deals before a single frame was shot so there's lot of faith already about the film's quality.
An early trailer is promising if not particularly exciting, and it does show off a more serious Channing Tatum who is pushing to be taken more seriously as an actor this year with a healthy mix of blockbusters and solid indie dramas. Bell, Strong, Sutherland and Rahim in key supporting roles along with Macdonald's generally superb filmmaking skills make this one of the few pre-Summer mainstream films that holds some promise."