The film The Eagle, not Centurion, is based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s Roman novel The Eagle of the Ninth. I mention this because it was wrongly claimed in the UK Guardian newspaper when the film first came out earlier this year that the film Centurion was indeed based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s book. I wrote to put them right! And it bears repeating, since Centurion is due out in the States and has just come out now on DVD:
The film Centurion is not based upon the (Rosemary Sutcliff) book The Eagle of the Ninth, beyond the idea of the disappearing ninth legion (N&Q, 24 March). Award-winning novelist Rosemary Sutcliff’s story is of a young Roman who goes on a quest with his slave Esca to discover the fate of his father’s lost ninth legion, restore his father’s reputation, and retrieve the lost eagle. It is the basis of the film The Eagle of the Ninth, being made by Kevin Macdonald. My evidence for this? I look after Rosemary Sutcliff’s books and legacy, as her one-time godson and cousin.
(Notes and Queries, The Guardian)