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Kevin Macdonald Scouting the "Eagle"

May 21, 2007 (3:51 am) GMT
"The Last King of Scotland" helmer Kevin Macdonald is set to direct an epic Roman drama "The Eagle of the Ninth" based on the Rosemary Sutcliff novel.

Soaring high following the critical success of "", Kevin Macdonald has submitted into his resume a new directing stint for "The Eagle of the Ninth", an epic Roman drama he is set to helm after finishing work on Universal Pictures' "."

Based on the classic 1954 teen novel by Rosemary Sutcliff, the project is set in Britain during the 2nd century A.D. and centers on a wounded Roman soldier who carries out a perilous journey alongside his Celtic slave to discover what happened to the missing Ninth Legion, of which general is his father.

Production is planned to begin early next year taking place in Scotland and locations in Eastern Europe, most likely Romania with Macdonald helming from script by Jeremy Brock, the co-writer of "Scotland." No stars aboard the flick yet, but it is learned that Duncan Kenworthy will serve as the producer.

"Duncan and I shared memories of the book as one of our favorite childhood novels," Macdonald remarked. "I pleaded with him to let me do it, and he finally gave in. There has been this glut of huge-scale sword and sandal movies, but we want to do this in a very gutsy, visceral way. I see it as a Western -- it's 'The Searchers' meets '' set in Scotland, where the landscape is the dominant production value."

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