Kevin MacDonald – the man behind the experimental Youtube movie Life In A Day – will see his entry in the Roman swords and sandals epic genre, The Eagle, released in theaters in just a few months.

A trailer for The Eagle is now online and it looks to be a PG-13 version of “Splat Pack” member Neil Marshall’s bloody action film Centurion – one that is more character-driven and features fewer scenes of warriors being decapitated and/or impaled.

The Eagle takes place in the year 140 A.D. and revolves around Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum), whose father, Flavius, led Rome’s Ninth Legion to its doom some 20 years before. Marcus enlists the aid of his slave, Esca (Jamie Bell) and sets out on a dangerous mission across the highlands of Scotland in order to track down a golden Eagle emblem that symbolizes the majesty of the Roman Empire. But Marcus soon learns that Esca’s true identity and heritage is inextricably linked to the mystery surrounding his father’s disappearance and that he must work in collaboration with his (former) slave in order to retrieve the titular object and restore his family’s honor.

While Centurion offered lots of gory violence and battle sequences, The Eagle looks to be more of an artsy pic that’s bigger on atmosphere and the personal conflict between Marcus and Esca. This first trailer for the film is fairly heavy on the exposition, but has its share of action-packed sequences that involve Roman guards decked out in armor and steel.

Check out The Eagle trailer below:

Tatum has yet to prove himself capable of being an engaging leading man and The Eagle could suffer from his lack of screen presence. MacDonald is a solid filmmaker and was responsible for the political/social thrillers State of Play and The Last King of Scotland, but he’s on new territory with his latest directorial effort. The production values on The Eagle look up to par and the battle sequences seem to be relatively well constructed – that’s sufficient reason to be hopeful about this pic for now.

Have a look at the official poster for The Eagle below:

The Eagle arrives in theaters in the U.S. on February 25th, 2011.

Source: Apple Trailers