Film4 is co-financing with Focus, which will hold worldwide rights to the film excluding U.K. free-TV. Focus Features CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
Mr. Macdonald is reunited on the new film with Jeremy Brock, BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter of "The Last King of Scotland," who has adapted the screenplay of "The Eagle of the Ninth" from Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel of the same name.
Three-time BAFTA Award winner Duncan Kenworthy, an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee for Four Weddings and a Funeral, will produce through his Toledo Productions. Focus senior vice president, European production Teresa Moneo – who with Focus Features International president Alison Thompson brought the project into the company – will supervise the film’s production.
In addition to "The Last King of Scotland," for which Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor Academy Award, Mr. Macdonald’s films as director include "One Day in September," which won him the Best Documentary Feature Oscar, and the mountain-climbing thriller "Touching the Void." He is currently completing "State of Play," starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. "The Eagle of the Ninth" will be Mr. Macdonald’s next film, with pre-production beginning at the end of 2008.
"The Eagle of the Ninth" is a Roman adventure set in the dangerous world of second-century Britain. In 135 A.D., fifteen years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila 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, Marcus sets out across Hadrian’s Wall into the uncharted High Lands 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.
Mr. Schamus and Ms. Thompson said, “This tale of high adventure, in the hands of this passionate trio of storytellers, is the kind of movie that can and will excite audiences all over the world.”
Film4 head Tessa Ross said, “All of Film4 is thrilled about this project. In our office, a huge cheer goes up at the very mention of working with Kevin Macdonald again, and at the privilege of sharing the journey with Duncan Kenworthy and Jeremy Brock.”
Mr. Kenworthy added, “'The Eagle of the Ninth' is a wonderfully gripping story set two thousand years ago. Who better to take audiences into the half-familiar but thrillingly strange heart of Roman Britain than Kevin Macdonald, one of the most visceral movie directors working today?”
courtesy: Allied Adv.