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the eagle of the ninth screenplay by jeremy brock based on the novel by rosemary sutcliff shooting script june 25th 2009 pink amendments of august 22nd 2009 blue amendments of july 10th 2009 toledo productions ltd 44 soho lofts 10 richmond mews london w1d 3dd duncank@toledoproductions.com ©!toledo productions limited 2009


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blackout fading slowly out of the darkness an ancient map of roman britain appears the sound of marching feet disappearing into the distance superimpose in 120 ad the ninth legion of the roman army which had occupied the southern part of britain for over a hundred years was sent north to conquer the wild scottish tribes the entire legion disappeared without trace five thousand soldiers vanished together with the golden eagle that was their treasured standard the emperor hadrian ordered the construction of a massive wall to separate scotland from the rest of britain hadrian s wall became the line marking the end of the known world dissolve to 1 ext south west england river day twenty years later a river snakes through landscape deeply forested on either side small against the vastness a barge drifts downstream close-up on a group of leather-clad legionaries some rowing others pressed tight together on the barge waiting to disembark they stare warily at the riverbank conscious of their exposure at their head stands their commander the pilus prior marcus flavius aquila aged twenty six born to be a soldier he bears himself with granite confidence now tracking through the trees we glimpse the barge from the point of view of an as-yet-invisible watcher the legionaries tense instinctively marcus watches the forest edge he senses someone moving between the trees shadow-dark seeing and unseen rounding a bend in the river marcus catches sight of a group of white long-horned cows drinking in the shallows eery against the mist and now finally the invisible watcher appears still tracking the barge from among the trees a small snottynosed celt boy he stares at marcus utterly empty eyed 1


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 scenes 2 3 and 4 deleted 5 ext fort isca dumnoniorum day 2 5 the roman fort of isca dumnoniorum dominates the hillside overlooking a small satellite village a roman road leads out from the fort slashed across the countryside like a cut 6 ext fort isca dumnoniorum day marcus and his cohort near the fort watched by war-weary legionaries from the parapet above the great gates swing open and they march inside 7 ext/int fort isca dumnoniorum day the legionaries stare down on the new arrivals marching into the main courtyard a grizzled officer lutorius steps up marcus salutes 7 6 marcus marcus flavius aquila fourth cohort of gauls second legion come to relieve the command lutorius lutorius drusillus salinator master of the dacian horse acting senior officer marcus where s the garrison commander lutorius he left this morning sir a look from marcus lutorius cont d couldn t wait to get away 8 ext/int fort isca dumnoniorum day a series of angles on lutorius showing marcus round the fort en-route they pass the usual routines of daily life blacksmith grain store guard duty but the overall impression is of a slightly dilapidated place peopled by those who ve been on the edge of empire too long 8 june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 lutorius we ve had a bout of sickness in the fort so some of the duties have slipped a bit the weather here can be a curse they pass another ranker centurion galba with two junior officers they stop talking and salute marcus returns the salute the officers watch him walk away galba mutters disparagingly so that s flavius aquila s son marcus heard that he continues on unperturbed 9 int fort isca dumnoniorum commander s quarters day 3 9 the commander s quarters comprise a bed a polished oak pay-chest a writing desk a cabinet for the record rolls and a rather tasteless bronze pedestal lamp just outside the door is a rose bush in a pot lutorius scoops up a duty-roster and a ring of keys he hands them to marcus marcus looks about a certain formality in his manner lutorius duty-roster and the keys to the pay-chest marcus the paymaster lutorius we re too small a garrison unfortunately that job falls to you beat as you can probably tell there s been a problem with the latrines but we have someone working on it marcus good humoured unsuccessfully lutorius returning his smile so far off a gust of wind the west wind i m afraid i can t change marcus glances into the sleeping cell lutorius moves to the door turns lutorius cont d this your first command sir june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 marcus 4 it is lutorius what made you choose britain marcus turns to the window no answer lutorius cont d you have family connections i believe marcus glances up a tiny flicker of irritation no marcus dismissive i ve an uncle in calleva but i ve never met him and he s never met me moving away i notice some of the fort is in disrepair we ll need to correct that turning away marcus makes it clear the meeting is over a habit of self-protective formality that comes and goes 10 int fort isca dumnoniorum commander s quarters night marcus hangs up his sword and begins unpacking his trunk he brings out some official-looking documents some jars of garum and a small carved wooden eagle an exact replica of the one carried by the legions carefully he hangs it beside his bed 10a int fort isca dumnoniorum commander s quarters night 10a marcus burns incense on a small altar from a jug he pours wine into a focus in the centre of the altar 11 ext fort isca dumnoniorum courtyard dawn a trumpet sounds reveille in dawn light the legionaries begin morning fatigues 11 10 scene 12 deleted 13 ext fort isca dumnoniorum courtyard dawn marcus walks across the courtyard past some of his men he nods encouragement a cohort centurion stands nearby eating breakfast 13 june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 marcus are the men settled sir cohort centurion 4a june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 14 ext isca dumnoniorum fort/road day 5 14 marcus and lutorius ride out of the fort with a guard of dacian horse the celt boy from the riverbank runs along the side of the road marcus catches his eye 15 ext isca dumnoniorum village day 15 marcus lutorius and the guard of dacian horse ride through the fort s satellite village a shanty-town on the fringe of empire the locals stare warily lutorius most of the time we rub along with the locals they sell us food we take their taxes they break the rules we punish them beat but religion you once let a druid into their heads and punishment has no meaning at all the only meaning is war marcus stares about unreadable a beat marcus what do you do for sport here lutorius not much every two weeks or so the men are allowed into the village for rest and recreation other than that we stay in the fort marcus you don t hunt lutorius we don t encourage the men to fraternize with the enemy marcus dryly just to sleep with them lutorius doesn t answer they round a corner and come face to face with a young celt cradoc leading two horses cradoc is lean athletic and composed compelling and distant three british chariots stand outside his hut half-built or ready for repair cradoc lutorius cradoc just looks at them june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 lutorius cont d cradoc s a horse dealer does some work for the fort marcus nods at the chariots one is already hitched to two horses ready to be taken out 5a june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 marcus you re a charioteer cradoc i am accounted the best in my tribe marcus our racing chariots in rome are smaller cradoc the commander also is a charioteer marcus i am accounted the best in my legion cradoc british chariots are not as easy to control without warning marcus suddenly dismounts hands his reins to lutorius and strolls over to the readied chariot marcus do you mind 6 he mounts the boards and picks up the reins lutorius shares a look with one of his men what is the commander up to cradoc these horses are descended out of the royal stables of the iceni marcus gently eases the horses forward and begins a circle of the yard his footing is a little unsteady as he gets used to the different style of chariot he manages to get up a little speed before he runs out of space and has to pull it up to a slightly jolting halt cradoc the faintest of smiles cradoc cont d as you see not as easy to control marcus another time the two men hold each other s gaze a flash of mutuality scene 16 deleted cut to june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 17 ext fort isca dumnoniorum day watched by marcus the legionaries including ranker centurions complete arms drill in the central courtyard 6a 17 june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 18 ext fort isca dumnoniorum day marcus oversees repairs to the fort 19 ext fort isca dumnoniorum day marcus oversees the laying of tar over spears in the defensive ditch 20 int fort isca dumnoniorum dusk a trumpet sounds late rounds the legionaries complete fatigues and begin breaking up for the night marcus immediately helps his men carry heavy equipment into storage a beat behind his officers are obliged to do the same 21 int fort isca dumnoniorum commander s quarters dawn marcus prays at a small altar 7 18 19 20 21 cut to 22 ext cornfield early morning marcus and cradoc stand side by side on two two-horse chariots reins in hand ready for a race sky above the horses breathing cold air to one side the celt boy watches the race marcus adjusts the brooch fastening his cloak he turns to cradoc marcus a wager my brooch against one of your hunting spears cradoc takes a measure of the distance then nods cradoc stand ready pause yaahh yelling their horses on reins held high marcus and cradoc thunder across the blue cornfield marcus glances to his side cradoc inches ahead the field ahead takes a dog-leg seeing a short-cut through some trees marcus suddenly yanks the reins to one side steering the horses straight towards the trees june 25th 09 22


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 8 seeing the roman s intention cradoc whips his horses on 23 ext forest early morning marcus s chariot sweeps through the trees at full gallop dipping and twisting with each check marcus makes to the reins 24 ext cornfield early morning the chariot explodes through the forest-edge and back into the field just ahead of cradoc as he roars round the bend cradoc makes one last attempt to catch him but marcus with a yell of triumph reaches the finish first as marcus catches cradoc s eye he breaks into a grin still panting from his exertions the celt answers with a smile well marcus 24 23 cradoc the commander begins to be a charioteer 25 ext fort isca dumnoniorum early morning the legionaries complete arms drill in the central courtyard 26 int fort officer s mess early morning the ranker centurions including lutorius and galba drift into the officer s mess for breakfast galba where s our newly-minted commander lutorius fraternising with the enemy galba shakes his head in disgust 27 ext isca dumnoniorum cradoc s hut early morning cradoc and marcus walk the horses back to cradoc s hut a line of hunting spears stand against the wall marcus steps forward he tests a few in his hand then picks one out it s newly tipped with a beautiful blue feather june 25th 09 27 26 25


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 cradoc any except that one marcus gives him a quizzical smile but cradoc remains expressionless replacing the blue-feathered spear marcus picks another one 28 int fort officer s mess early morning galba lutorius and the other ranker centurions eat and talk galba you mark my words marcus aquila is tainted cassius tainted by what galba giving him a look his father was flavius aquila the man who lost the eagle of the ninth lutorius not to mention five thousand men galba smiling sarcastically that was a little absent-minded cassius somebody tell me how do five thousand men simply disappear 9 28 lutorius my optio says that if you stand on the hilltop at alauna beyond the frontier when the moon is full you can hear the ghosts of the legionaries scream paulus i ve heard they went as far as the ice mountains and fell off the edge of the earth galba i m telling you i ve marched with the eagles thirty years i know a bad omen when i see one beat the boy s a bad omen marcus appears in the doorway holding his spear the room goes silent did he hear that if he did he betrays nothing morning marcus june 25th 09


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 galba nods at the spear deadpan galba nice spear sir 10 marcus only smiles puts the spear aside and joins them an awkward silence he turns to lutorius marcus the grain from durinum hasn t arrived i want you to send out a patrol to investigate galba i wouldn t worry sir one day late s nothing here marcus well it is to me beat send out the patrol galba believe me sir too dangerous we ve had reports of a druid roaming the villages right now i wouldn t send out a patrol marcus stares calmly back marcus the men need to eat too silence galba gives lutorius a look feeling suddenly self-conscious paulus lowers the spoon poised at his lips 29 ext fort isca dumnoniorum courtyard day from the doorway of his quarters marcus watches a patrol march out of the fort led by cassius a moment of doubt then he turns and goes back to work 30 int fort marcus s quarters night marcus prepares for bed he s about to enter his sleeping cell when the faintest shushing noise makes him stop he walks over to the door peers into the blackness listening nothing he turns back 31 ext hillside outside fort night with preternatural speed the camera glides over the surface of the grass towards the fort june 25th 09 31 30 29


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shooting script with pink amendments aug 22nd 09 32 int fort marcus s bed night marcus jolts upright wide awake 33 ext fort parapet night 11 32 33 hauling a cloak over his tunic marcus hurries towards the dim light of the watchtower three legionaries spring to their feet and salute marcus wake lutorius one of the men hurries away marcus stares over the parapet there it is again the faint swish-swish of wind in grass marcus cont d can you hear it sir legionary he holds up his hand through the dark they hear the faint grunt of cattle marcus swears softly under his breath lutorius races up cloak hauled roughly over his shoulders marcus it seems i may have got you up for nothing lutorius what did you hear marcus cattle most likely lutorius peers into the blackness faint but clear we hear the shushing sound then it stops marcus cont d there that hear it lutorius nods both men stand there staring intently over the parapet marcus cont d under his breath damn the dark beat should i call the men to arms lutorius if it s just cattle they won t thank you june 25th 09



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