The Last Legion is a 2007 film directed by Doug Lefler. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and others, it is based on a 2003 Italian novel of the same name written by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. It stars Colin Firth along with Sir Ben Kingsley and Aishwarya Rai. The film is loosely inspired by the events of 5th century European history, notably the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. This is loosely coupled with other facts and legends from the history of Britain and various fantastic elements from the legend of King Arthur to provide a basis for the Arthurian legend.
Connections to Arthurian LegendEdit
The movie shows King Arthur as a descendant of the last Roman imperial line. In Le Morte d'Arthur Arthur claims descent from Constantine and is crowned Roman Emperor after defeating its ruler, Lucius Tiberius. In the film, Aurelius is a fictionalized version of the historical war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus, also known as Aurelius Ambrosius, who led the Romano-British against the invading Saxons. He was said by Geoffrey of Monmouth to have been the brother of Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, and to have opposed Vortigern alongside his brother.
In Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical work Historia Regum Britanniae, Merlin, originally a figure unconnected with Arthur, is called Merlin Ambrosius after Geoffrey merged legends of Aurelius Ambrosius into the character. Ambrosius becomes Ambrosinus the druid in the film. Vortgyn's death by fire in a burning tree shelter/shrine echoes the legendary Vortigern's death, as according to Geoffrey of Monmouth the latter died in his tower when it was set aflame. The last shots of the film establish the sword of Caesar as the legenday blade Caliburn and also the Sword in the Stone, traditionally a different weapon.
- Colin Firth ... Aurelius
- Thomas Sangster ... Romulus Augustulus/Pendragon
- Ben Kingsley ... Ambrosinus/Merlin
- Aishwarya Rai ... Mira
- Peter Mullan ... Odoacer
- Kevin McKidd ... Wulfia
- John Hannah ... Nestor
- Owen Teale ... Vatrenus
- Rupert Friend ... Demetrius
- Nonso Anozie ... Batiatus
- Harry Van Gorkum ... Vortgyn
- Robert Pugh ... Kustennin
- James Cosmo ... Hrothgar
- Alexander Siddig ... Theodorus Andronikos
- Murray McArthur ... Tertius
- Iain Glen ... Orestes
- Alexandra Thomas-Davies ... Ygraine
Thomas Sangster also played Young Tristan in Tristan & Isolde (2006) (film)