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The Forgotten Historical War Drama You Can Find On Hulu

The 1995 movie Braveheart helped popularize the legend of Medieval Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. He was only one of many important players in the First Scottish War of Independence, though, and he's not the only one who has gotten the feature film treatment.

Released in 2019, the drama Robert the Bruce tells the story of Robert I, who not only ruled as King of Scotland during part of the fight for independence, but also saw Scotland recognized as its own kingdom during his reign (via World History Encyclopedia). The film had a quiet release but those who are curious to see another perspective on the historic conflict can check the movie out on Hulu, where it's currently streaming.

Despite the epic nature of its subject, Robert the Bruce opts for a more intimate approach. The film sees Robert (Angus Macfadyen) on the run in the Scottish countryside after a series of devastating defeats. He's given shelter by a woman named Morag (Anna Hutchison), a peasant who would perhaps be better served by turning Robert over to his enemies, who have put a hefty bounty on his head. Instead, she shows him compassion, which helps give him the resolve to see his mission for independence through to its end.

Robert I is considered one of the great heroes of Scottish history and fittingly, Robert the Bruce is not the first time the character has appeared in film. In fact, Macfadyen, who also co-wrote Robert the Bruce's script with Eric Belgau, previously played a younger version of the character in Braveheart. Needless to say, the '90s classic did help bring about the impetus for the latest movie about the legendary figure.

Macfadyen wanted to tell a different kind of story with Robert the Bruce

It's not merely a coincidence that Macfadyen played Robert I in Braveheart before co-writing and starring in Robert the Bruce. As the actor told LRM Online, the idea for the screenplay came about in the aftermath of the classic film.

"I was walking around for several years after [Braveheart] talking to people saying, 'Doesn't anybody want to see what happened after William Wallace died because Robert the Bruce did actually fight on for a long time and became the King of Scotland,'" Macfadyen revealed. According to him, he had trouble drumming up enthusiasm for the project and he said that eventually, "I went and sat down anyway and wrote a script in 2006 and of course it took from then, it took another 11 years to actually start shooting..."

Although the concept for the movie may have emerged in the wake of Braveheart, Macfadyen sees Robert the Bruce as a very different kind of film. He told CBR, "Well, I think where Braveheart glorifies war and violence, I very much wanted to make a film which didn't do that, which was sort of an anti-war film and is more about the consequences of violence."

So, while the two movies may share characters and time periods in common, they ultimately take a very different approach to the subject matter. Anyone interested in seeing how they compare and contrast can check out Robert the Bruce, which is currently streaming on Hulu.