Once upon a time, there were sword and sandals movies. Brad Pitt had one. It also starred Eric Bana and the hot German gal from Inglourious Basterds. In those days, it was all about big swords and plenty of sand. And only a little bit about the abs.

This new movie — The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum — is all about the abs. In the first look photo gallery below, courtesy of Yahoo Movies, Tatum shows of some of his mean grimaces and his sword-play. He plays a wounded Roman soldier living in Britain during the 2nd Century A.D. Along with his Celtic slave Esca (Jamie Bell), he heads to the wilds of the far north in an attempt to retrieve the Eagle emblem from the vanished Ninth Legion, which was lost under the command of his father ten years before.

An interesting enough story, if Tatum and director Kevin Macdonald (State of Play, The Last King of Scotland) can pull it off. That remains to be seen. For now, we have these photos:

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