Thursday, May 21, 2009

NEWS FLASH: Channing Tatum's 'Eagle of the Ninth' Excels at 2009 Cannes Film Festival

Channing Tatum with Actor Jamie Bell and Director Kevin MacDonald from 'The Eagle of the Ninth'
Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Kevin MacDonald from 'The Eagle of the Ninth'

Good news is coming out of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for one of Channing Tatum's upcoming films.

Although some have reported slow film sales at Cannes, 'The Eagle of the Ninth', which is being sold by Focus Features International, has currently been acquired by buyers in every major territory worldwide with the exception of Japan. This means that the $23 million epic that stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland has now lined up distributors all over the world and is one step closer to being created.

Some of the bigger deals inked include France's Metropolitan, Germany's Telemunchen and Bim in Italy. The film will be distributed by Focus Features domestically and Universal in the U.K., Spain, Australia and Latin America. Rights have also gone to Scandinavia (Nordisk); Benelux (RCV); South Korea: (Ssamzie); Greece (Odeon); Israel (Shani); Portugal (Castello Lopes); the Middle East (Italia), and numerous other countries around the world.

Alison Thompson (Focus Features International President of Sales and Distribution) said she was also in the process of closing deals with South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Turkey.

Thompson tells Variety, "In this very strange Cannes, we're almost embarrassed to have done so well with this project...We're happy to report the pre-sales business is alive and kicking. People love the idea of Scots overcoming the mightiest army of the world - it's 'Braveheart' for a new generation."

The Daily Record is saying that the film has became a Cannes hit because of its strong script, cast and director and the success of similar productions such as 'Gladiator' and the American HBO series "Rome", starring Scot Kevin McKidd.

Finally, 'The Eagle of the Ninth' producer Duncan Kenworthy, of 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' and 'Notting Hill' fame, said of his latest project: "People are looking for surefire hits. Clearly, 'Eagle' is being viewed in that way."
'The Eagle of the Ninth' is based on the best-selling, classic 1954 teen novel by Rosemary Sutcliff. The film will be directed by Kevin MacDonald and the screenplay was adapted by Jeremy Brock (who previously worked with MacDonald on the award winning 'The Last King Of Scotland'),

Set in Britain during the 2nd century A.D., it's the story of a wounded Roman soldier (Channing Tatum) and his Celtic slave (Jamie Bell) who embark on a perilous journey into the far north to discover what happened the Ninth Legion, which went on a mission into the wilds of Scotland 15 years earlier and never came back. The soldier's father was the legion's general, and his disappearance, along with the loss of the legion's symbol, the eponymous eagle, cast a stain upon his family.

Production is set to start in August, and I'm already taking applications from Scottish fans who want to be my eyes and ears during filming. They will be based in Glasgow for approximately 5 or 6 weeks and will then take smaller crews into the Highlands for 3 or 4 weeks. Many of the scenes will be filmed near Loch Lomond, in addition to other Highland areas in Scotland.

Because Cannes sales have gone so well for 'The Eagle of the Ninth', I'm excited to say that many of Chan's fans around the world will have an opportunity to see this film when it hits theaters in 2010!!!

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