November 25, 2000
BRITAIN has never had its own Ben Hur. However, hot on the heels of the success of Gladiator, this may change.Duncan Kenworthy (the co-producer of comedy films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill) has just bought an option on Rosemary Sutcliff's classic children's book The Eagle of the Ninth. Based on the true story of the lost Ninth Hispana Legion, which disappeared somewhere north of Hadrian's Wall in the second century AD, it is a romping tale about a young legionary, Marcus, who ventures into Scotland to look for the missing soldiers, including his father, and their standard.
It is an odd project for Kenworthy but it will be good to see the Romans in Britain for once. Let's just pray that the producer does not want to cast Hugh Grant as Marcus . . .