The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off Thursday with the opening-night selection Outlaw King, a historical Netflix drama starring Chris Pine as King of the Scots Robert the Bruce. E! News' Zuri Hall interviewed Pine on the red carpet beforehand, where he spoke about the "fraternity" his co-stars formed and joked there were "a lot of beard competitions."
Outlaw King—co-written, co-produced and directed by David Mackenzie—also stars Tony Curran, Stephen Dillane, Billy Howle, Florence Pugh and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In his review, The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore said the film is "something of a grind," although it does have its "lively" moments here and there. "Pine is fully committed to Robert's mission, but the film has a hard time making him a compelling character, even with a wife and daughter on hand to make him relatable," he wrote. "And it takes forever for his military campaign to get rolling."
Variety's Peter Debruge shared those sentiments, writing in his review, "Outlaw King never quite compares to the many films it's so keen to imitate, and in some cases outright quote."
Meanwhile, on social media, all anyone wanted to talk about was Pine's penis. "Netflix has a strategy to gain millions more subscribers this November: inserting a gratuitous Chris Pine nude scene in the middle of bloody, muddy Scottish battle epic OUTLAW KING," Debruge tweeted. Vulture's Nate Jones described two of his nude scenes in more detail. Viewers first see his butt during a sex scene with Pugh, iin which "the camera lovingly lingers" on Pine's backside, showing a "willingness to go on for a beat longer than is comfortable. It's kicked off by a split-second shot where Robert disrobes, unveiling the full majesty of his medieval bush."
According to Jones, "It's a level of nudity you don't often see from male movie stars, and quite frankly, it makes Justin Theroux look like Buffalo Bill." The scene made viewers gasp, "but little did they know that this was just the appetizer." After Pine's character returns from his lowest point, he goes for swim stripping off his tunic and exposing "his royal todger" to the world. "We only see it in a long shot, and the moment ends before anyone watching can finish saying 'Whoa,' but still, it's a bold move—particularly in a movie that's heading straight to Netflix." Presciently, he joked, "Horny GIF-makers of the world will have their hands full with this one."
Those who saw the movie then answered questions about Pine's penis for those who didn't:
News that Pine shows his penis onscreen even led to an epiphany:
Other critics joked they felt closer after witnessing the scenes together:
Finally, other critics predicted—rightly so—that Pine's penis would be the talk of TIFF:
Pine addressed the hoopla in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Friday, joking, "Well, it was very cold, if I remember; I was on the side of a major highway. So, not exactly the elements I would shoot myself." On a more serious note, he argued the attention was odd. "What I find very funny is there's so much beheading in this, and yet people want to talk about my penis. I think it says something about our society where people get disemboweled—but it's the man's junk that is of interest. And I know that sounds funny, but really, we are just base animals. And I thought it was very important to see this man who was going to have power be an animal."
For the right role, Pine has never had any qualms about appearing naked onscreen. As he told Cosmopolitan last year, "I think the way our society deals with nudity is so stupid. Whenever people are getting out of bed in a movie, a woman is covering her breasts and a man is covering his junk. That's not real life! If you're getting out of bed, just be naked. That's what people do!"
Outlaw King premieres on Netflix Nov. 9.