Film4 to co-finance, take U.K. free-to-air TV rights

Focus Features has firmed a deal to finance epic Roman adventure “The Eagle of the Ninth.”

The U.K.’s Film4 will co-finance and take U.K. free-to-air TV rights. Focus will retain all other worldwide rights.

Kevin MacDonald (“The Last King of Scotland”) is attached to direct the project, reuniting with “The Last King of Scotland” scribe Jeremy Brock who will write the script.

Duncan Kenworthy (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) will produce the pic through his banner Toledo Prods.

Focus VP of European production Teresa Moneo will oversee the production.

Project is set to go into pre-production by the end of the year, once Macdonald has finished filming political thriller “State of Play,” starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, for Universal Pictures and Working Title.

Pic is an adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliffe’s novel about a young Roman centurion who travels to Blighty in 135 A.D. to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Rome’s Ninth Legion in Scotland 15 years earlier.

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