It really is quite unfortunate for The Eagle that Centurion came out earlier this fall. I’d pretty much guarantee that in every possible way, the earlier movie will be more: much more violent, weirder, and must more suspenseful. As much as I like me some Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender is a more grown-up sex symbol:
The thing is, there’s a lot of potential for awesome movies about Rome that don’t need to be set in cold, rainy, pre-Medieval England and populated with a lot of fetishized Picts. Some brilliant children’s movie director should really make a franchise out of Henry Winterfeld’s Detectives in Togas and The Mystery of the Roman Ransom books about a plucky group of Roman gentlemen’s sons (actually, someone should recognize the Hunger Games-induced potential of Trouble at Timpetill, Winterfeld’s book about a town where the parents abandon their children, leading to fascinating struggle between anarchy and civilization). You could do a ton with the whole Roman wife trope. Hell, we could go back to gladiatorial stories. We could even tell stories set back in Rome about the loss of the Ninth Legion, as The Mystery of the Roman Ransom is. In any case, maybe The Eagle is good. It’s just that of all the waves of movie topics to have, the Ninth Legion is one of the stranger possibilities.