The Eagle of the Ninth film summary – plot based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s book The Eagle of the Ninth – described by one of its co-financiers, Film 4.
Newly arrived in Britannia on his first command, young Centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) heroically defends his fort against a massive Celtic attack but is so badly wounded that he is discharged from the army. Angry and bitter that his army career is over, Marcus chooses to risk his life on a seemingly impossible journey into the unconquered north to find the Eagle of the Ninth, the legendary golden standard lost fifteen years earlier when his father marched the Ninth Legion into the wilds of Scotland and never came back.
As a companion, he takes his slave Esca (Bell), a Celt whose life he saved in a gladiatorial contest but who hates all things Roman. Their journey together into the wild north forges the beginnings of a precarious relationship between them. But when they are captured by the Seal People, the most feared of all the Celtic tribes and the guardians of the lost Eagle, Esca claims that he is the master and Marcus his Roman slave – and Marcus has no choice but to entrust himself into the Celt’s hands.
Just as Marcus fears Esca’s loyalty is lost and he is to remain a slave for life, the Celt proves true to his friend. Together they manage to retrieve the Eagle from an island temple and, keeping one step ahead of their pursuers in a thrilling chase to the safety of the border, they take a stand in a final, unexpected battle that reveals the secret of the Ninth.
(Source: Upcoming Films from Film4)