A BRAVEHEART sequel depicting Robert the Bruce’s “rise from the ashes” will top the billing at next month’s Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Scots actor Angus MacFayden will reprise his role as Bruce from Mel Gibson’s Oscar-winning film nearly 25 years after it was released in cinemas.

The new film, Robert The Bruce, explores the early months of his resistance against King Edward. Set several years after Wallace’s uprising, it focuses on a long, harsh winter when Bruce and his men are pursued across the Highlands by his enemies.

MacFayden has co-written the film, which he says sends a pertinent message to Scots today.

“Robert the Bruce rose from the ashes of his former self and became a hero who gave Scotland its independence,” the actor said.

“But he fought for the commonwealth of the land, held by none but its people. Not his wealth, not his land. And he never slept in a castle again.

“He became one with the land and nature. A lesson we need to learn with great urgency, today. I can’t wait for audiences around the world to see it.”

Premiering at the 73rd annual Edinburgh International Film Festival, it comes six months after Netflix launched Outlaw King, a Bruce epic starring Chris Pine.

The National:

Will Machin, CEO of Metro International, the distributer of Robert The Bruce, commented: “We’re big fans of this genre and having loved Braveheart and more recently Netflix’s Outlaw King, we’re delighted to bring this beautifully shot film to the marketplace, which tells an unknown piece of the story about an historical legend who continues to capture imaginations over 700 years later.”

Macfadyen will be joined on screen by Jared Harris (The Crown) as Robert the Bruce’s rival for the throne, John Comyn, alongside Anna Hutchison (The Cabin In The Woods), Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl), Zach McGowan (Black Sails), Gabriel Bateman (American Gothic), Talitha Eliana-Bateman (Geostorm), Emma Kenney (Roseanne), and Kevin McNally (Pirates Of The Caribbean).

Richard Gray (Sugar Mountain) will direct the film from a script co-written by Macfadyen and Eric Belgau.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival begins on June 19 with the screening of social satire Boyz in the Wood at Festival Theatre.

Organisers say the schedule will promote some of the best films and exclusive events from across the country.

Scottish talent attending this year will include Shauna Macdonald, Jack Lowden, Peter Mullan and Angus Macfadyen.

Another Braveheart actor, Brian Cox, will star in US noir-thriller Strange But True, which will be screened at the festival.

Paul Bush, director of events at national tourism agency VisitScotland, believes the event will “showcase Scotland’s assets”.

He said: "Film tourism is booming in Scotland and it’s no wonder given the amazing breadth of work being produced that showcases our stunning urban and rural scenery.

"Together with the depth of Scottish talent on show, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is the perfect stage to showcase Scotland’s assets to the international film community, inspiring enthusiasts to visit and experience the best of our people, food, drink and music first hand."

Robert The Bruce will be at cinemas nationwide from June 28.