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Quick, America: identify a true (that means not fictitious, Outlander fans) Scottish warrior! Chances are, you will probably name William Wallace, who was memorably depicted by Mel Gibson in the 1995 movie Braveheart. And you would be wrong.
The real hero to the Scots is King Robert the Bruce, the tartan-clad heavyweight who rescued his country from English rule during the First War of Scottish Independence. Thank goodness Netflix saw fit to provide us with a much-needed history lesson: Chris Pine reunites with director David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) in the title role of Outlaw King, which focuses on the brutal period between 1298 to 1306 when Scotland was pretty much at the knees of King Edward I of England.
“Robert sacrificed everything he once owned to set Scotland free,” says Gillian Barrie, Mackenzie’s Scottish producing partner. “He was the second richest person in the British Isles. He gave up everything to take on the most ridiculously powerful army and king. He had to go to hell and back.”
And how is Pine as the warrior himself?
“He’s amazing, apart from the fact his accent is spot on and his horsemanship was stunning,” Barrie said. “He was genuinely a leader for the rest of the cast. The amount of stunts and action he had to perform on daily basis … riding in a wild terrain, thrown into waterfalls…my hat’s off to him, really.”
The movie also stars Duncan Lacroix, Steven Cree, Alastair Mackenzie, and Florence Pugh. It drops Nov. 9 on Netflix.
“I’m very happy for William to be a national treasure, an icon,” says Berrie. “But it’s much more deserving that Robert the Bruce gets his place in history.”