By Josh Tarpley Director Ben Mackenzie will be reuniting with his “Hell or High Water” stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster for a potential Netflix film, “Outlaw King.” The story will tell the story of Robert the Bruce (or Robert I), the Scottish king who lead the country to freedom from the English during the 14th century. After breaking on to the scene with 2016’s “Hell or High Water,” anything Mackenzie became attached to would be highly anticipated, and it looks like Netflix has scooped him up for the project.
Click beyond the jump to learn more about “Outlaw King.” Pine would play Robert the Bruce with Foster playing James Douglas, a Scottish knight who became a chief advisor to the king. Whether it be Mackenzie himself or a few of the producers, many involved are Scottish themself and there is a sense that the filmmakers wish to redeem Robert the Bruce’s legacy after his portrayal in “Braveheart.”
Mackenzie, Berrie and Brown hail from Scotland, and it sure sounds like this is an act of national pride for them to restore some of the luster for the nationally revered Robert The Bruce that was missing from the Best Picture-winning Braveheart. There, Robert the Bruce came across as a privileged brat who was manipulated by his power-hungry leper father into betraying William Wallace, before coming around and leading Scotland to freedom after Wallace was drawn and quartered by England King Edward I. William Wallace will have a place in Outlaw King, but in this story, Robert the Bruce casts aside the comfortable trappings of his upbringing to stand up for his countrymen in a long campaign. He defied the Brits and the Catholic Church and ruthlessly consolidated rule among the squabbling noble elite of Scotland, finally rallying the forces necessary to turn back Edward II’s considerable armies to free Scotland. There is also a major love story in the film, between the king and his Queen, Elizabeth de Burgh, daughter of an England-friendly Irish noble who helped Robert The Bruce form the backbone needed to eradicate the Brits.
“Hell or High Water” was one of the best films of last year. After being released in August, the movie found favor with audiences for a respectable box office return for an indie flick. Though it was not the number 1 movie for a lot of critics, everyone seemed to enjoy the movie in some way or another. “Hell or High Water” rode the wave of critics awards all the way to Oscar nomination morning, picking up nods for Supporting Actor, Screenplay, and Picture.
Though “Outlaw King” has the supposed pedigree for an awards contender, it is being picked up for a Netflix release. Outside of the documentary categories, Netflix has yet to see any success in the Oscar realm (nor are they really looking for it). After a brief theatrical run of 2015’s “Beasts of No Nation” was unable to garner a nomination for Idris Elba, Netflix’s movie exploits have been limited to the Adam Sandler variety. Whether it be Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” or “Outlaw King,” Netflix’s Oscar potential is still up in the air.
What do you guys think? Are you excited for “Outlaw King?” Do you think Netflix will ever have a hit in the Oscar race? Let us know in the comments below! You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @JoshTarpley7