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Un Prophete's Tahar Rahim Cast in Roman Epic Eagle of the Ninth

by
October 19, 2009

Tahar Rahim

Focus Features announced today that French actor Tahar Rahim, the lead actor in my favorite foreign film of the year, Jacques Audiard's Un Prophete (read my review from Cannes), has been cast in The Eagle of the Ninth, his first big role since breaking out at Cannes earlier this year. The Eagle of the Ninth, being directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play), is a Roman epic adventure that's currently shooting in and around England. In addition to Rahim, the film stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong. Definitely sounds like a project we should be keeping our eyes on!

The Eagle of the Ninth is set in the dangerous world of second-century Britain. 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. 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. Rahim has been cast to play the Gaelic-speaking Seal Prince, the fearsome leader of a band of warriors who pursue Marcus and Esca throughout the highlands.

The sounds a little bit like Neil Marshall's Centurion, but obviously with an entirely different story, but it's still intriguing to see two British productions set in ancient Roman. Either way, with the director and the cast involved in this, especially now with Rahim (who I think deserves an Oscar for his performance in Un Prophete), I'm looking forward to this much more than Centurion. We'll let you know when we hear more!

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  • Jackie
    Brandon Routh?
  • Corran Horn
    I'm of two minds on this. On the one hand, I like McDonald, the subject matter, and most of the cast (Bell, Sutherland, Strong, Rahim), but on the other, I do not care much for Channing Tatum. Then again, that may be because he hasn't been in anything good.
  • Fed Up With Hollywood
    "The sounds a little bit like Neil Marshall's Centurion, but obviously with an entirely different story" Um...what? Sounds like another movie that's entirely different...mmm'kay. You mean just because it's about the Romans?
  • Fed Up With Hollywood
    "The sounds a little bit like Neil Marshall's Centurion, but obviously with an entirely different story" Umm, what? This sounds like another movie with an entirely different story? Mmmm'kay. Just because they both deal with the Romans?
  • Martin
    The Legion of the Ninth disappeared in Pictish terittory in what is now Eastern Scotland. They should be chased by Picts not Gaels, i,e pelpe speaking the pcits langauge. Alsohow can this have anyhting to do with Gaelic people, they did not come in force from Ireland through Dalriada until the 4th century it sounds like yet another movie about early Britain thats got it all wrong again.

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