Ben Kane could not resist commenting on his website on Friday 25th March, with apologies to Jack Higgins, that “The Eagle had landed”.
Well, today’s the day, folks, when the film version of our dearly beloved book, recently renamed The Eagle, hits cinema screens all over the UK. Directed by Kevin McDonald of The Last King of Scotland, it was filmed in the Scottish Highlands and parts of eastern Europe. The reviews are flooding in thick and fast on Rosemary Sutcliff’s site, and they mostly seem good. One reader has posted here (on my site) that it’s really great too. I find my hopes rising… Sadly, I won’t get to see it until next week. I can’t wait!
I am intrigued to learn what Ben, as well as all who visit this site, think of the film as well as Rosemary’s many different books. Meanwhile, I note that actually The Eagle of the Ninth has not been “renamed The Eagle”; it is just that the version of the paperback designed to ‘tie-in’ with the film cleverly uses both titles!
Ben Kane’s own novel The Silver Eagle was named in homage to Rosemary, referring to both The Eagle of the Ninth and to The Silver Branch. Ben is an acclaimed author of Roman novels, who recently posted on his own website an homage to Rosemary Sutcliff which concludes:
I wasn’t made aware of quite how deep The Eagle of the Ninth had sent roots into my mind until, at the age of 31 and more than twenty years after I’d read the book, I first set my eyes on the incredible structure that is Hadrian’s Wall.
Seeing the wall silhouetted along the skyline sent an electric shock down my spine. Almost at the same time, my love of Rome was rekindled, and I decided on the spot to write a novel about Roman soldiers serving on the wall. While that novel didn’t quite make the cut, my next one did. Since then I haven’t stopped writing, or spreading the word about the wonderfully written masterpiece that is The Eagle of the Ninth.
Source: A homage to Rosemary Sutcliff – Ben Kane.