The trailer for the latest sword-and-sandal epic Centurion appeared online today. Due to drop in British theaters April 23 and later this year in other countries, the epically intense and intensely epic Centurion is without a U.S. release date, so let’s start building some American buzz. From British director Neil Marshall, who drew blood from the casts of The Descent and Dog Soldiers, Centurion tell the bloody story of the Ninth Legion, a Roman army 4000 strong that disappeared without a trace after marching into Scotland around the end of the Iron Age.
Marshall’s script dramatizes the fate of seven survivors of the Ninth Legion after the army is massacred in an ambush by the Picts, a Scottish tribe fighting the Roman invasion. Inglourious Basterds’ Michael Fassbender appears as Quintus Dias, who, based on the trailer, leads the survivors from behind enemy lines. The Wire’s Dominic West also appears as General Virilus of the Ninth Legion. Recent Bond girl Olga Kurylenko also stars as Etain, a vicious but mute Pict huntress pursuing the survivors.
Judging by the trailer, Centurion looks poised to do more than just join the tribe of overwrought historical epics like Gladiator, King Arthur, 300, and the soon-to-be-released Robin Hood, which depict their intense heroes, backs against the wall, screaming out thunderous war cries while drenched in blood, sweat, and mud. Centurion has all that, but the locations look stunning, the plot ought to provide ample suspense and territory to explore, and Michael Fassbender looks fierce. And charmingly, Doctor Who’s Noel Clarke, who played Rose’s cuckolded boyfriend Mickey, appears as one of the survivors. Check it out.