The Eagle is a 2011 historical epic film directed by Kevin Macdonald, and starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland. Adapted by Jeremy Brock from Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical adventure novel The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), the film tells the story of a young Roman officer searching to recover the lost Roman eagle standard of his father’s legion in the northern part of Great Britain. The story is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion’s supposed disappearance in Britain.
The film, a British-American co-production, was released in the U.S. and Canada on 11 February 2011, and was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 25 March 2011.
After viewing it twice in one week, I’m proud to have The Eagle on my 2011 Holiday Gift Guide this year as a great movie choice for adults!
Unlike a lot of Roman-era pics, this one moves at a surprisingly nice pace. The movie gives us a closer, and refreshing less romantic (the film is pretty much female-free) look at the world movies such as Gladiator portrayed. The film is visually stunning at times, with scenes just as brutal as they are beautiful and the majesty of Scotland becomes as much part of the film as the cast. Though not a perfect movie, the cast does a wonderful job and has amazing chemistry. As long as you can get past their accents, or lack of, this movie pulls you into it’s exciting story of friendship and honor. Tatum gives a great performance as Marcus, one that is full of strength, and impressive screen presence. Not an easy task along side actors such as Donald Sutherland. Showing he has what it takes to carry emotional scenes, as well as physical scenes. As good as he is, there are plenty of scenes stolen by Jamie Bell. Bell is outstanding as the slave Esca. It’ll be exciting to see where Jamie is a few years from now, as I am certain he is on the edge of a brilliant career.
The Eagle: Featurette (a look behind the scenes)
How cold was it in Scotland while this movie was filming? Channing, says it was the coldest he’s ever been – using one word to describe it “hypothermia”. A word he used more than once while chatting online via webcam with myself and a handful of others. He also mentioned they filmed on the highest spot in Scotland, on the coldest day. With battle scenes each taking an average of three days to create, there was no way to hide from the brutal temp. Which at some point of filming sent actors into shock, and Mr.Tatum to the hospital with major burns. Burns from a boiling water mishap that took place while trying to keep warm during filming.
Below are a few fun questions and answers I was able to note during a group viewing of The Eagle and chat via webcam with Channing Tatum.
What type of film have you found the most challenging or difficult this far?
Channing: There are certain things about every film I do that are difficult. The most emotional stuff I had to do on camera was Dear John, but the one that effected me the most emotionally as an actor was Guild To recognizing Your Saints.
Did Donald Sutherland offer you much career advice while filming?
Channing: Donald was awesome. it was great to work with him – learned a lot.
What was your favorite thing about shooting this film?
Channing: My favorite was all of the amazing whiskey in Scotland. Scotland itself was beyond incredible.
How was it playing Marcus?
Channing: The toughest thing about playing Marcus was trying to project yourself back into that time and hope you’re always being somewhat accurate and honest. So much time separates now and from then, so it’s a challenge to try to make it as real as you can. Especially with the language barrier.
Did you eat any haggis while in Scotland?
Channing: Never ate any haggis, but Jamie lost a bet and had to eat some. (sorry, he says he can’t tell me what the bet was)
If you could have diner with three people, dead or alive, who would you chose?
Channing: Ghenges Kahn, Buster Keaton, and God himself.
I would like to thank Mr.Tatum for being so generous with his time. I really enjoyed viewing the movie and having the opportunity to chat (2x in one week)!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated for my time or this blog post. I do not claim the rights to movie materials/ photos used in this blog post.