The director of Scotland’s biggest ever film production – the Robert the Bruce epic Outlaw King – has told of his “great responsibility” in telling the hero’s story to a global audience of millions.

Filmmaker David Mackenzie reveals the challenge in a new video released today by tourism body VisitScotland on YouTube to mark the first anniversary of the Netflix blockbuster.

Outlaw King charts the story of the Bruce from defeated nobleman in 1304 to victorious King of Scots at the Battle of Loudoun Hill in 1307. Starring Chris Pine as the Bruce, the £85million film was the biggest “homegrown” production ever made in Scotland.

It was released globally on streaming platform Netflix to 130 million subscribers in more than 190 countries exactly a year ago.

But it was shot almost entirely in Scotland, at more than 45 locations including Craigmillar, Blackness and Doune Castles, as well as Aviemore, Glencoe and Linlithgow Palace. Cameras only ventured across the Border as far as Berwick Upon Tweed, which itself was part of Scotland in Bruce’s time.

Speaking in the new video, Mackenzie, 53, describes how he had to “do justice” to his hero Bruce while creating a spectacle for millions of viewers.

He said: “It was a great responsibility to try to tell the story of one of the great Scottish national heroes, if not the great Scottish national hero, and to do him justice while making a film of integrity that tells an element of the story of his life and what he did.

“That was at the forefront of everything that we were doing all the way through, while still trying to remember that we were trying to make a film that an audience can relate to and engage with and enjoy the spectacle of, and enjoy the romance of, and enjoy all those kind of epic film qualities.”

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker, who was raised in Highland Perthshire, recalls revisiting his old stomping grounds for Outlaw King, and how they fit in to the film and Bruce’s own story.

Mackenzie remembers being dropped off by his mother south of Dalwhinnie to hike home – and returning to the same spot more than 30 years later to film Star Trek icon Pine as Robert the Bruce.

He added: “We shot the film entirely in Scotland according to the borders of 1320 because we dipped in to Berwick Upon Tweed which was in Scotland at the time but not anymore. So we needed to find places that would fit the English side as well as the Scots side. I’m very familiar with most of Scotland and when we were scouting the film I did feel that I’ve actually been scouting for this film for the last 35 years of my life.

“We shot in Skye and we shot up the A9 corridor, and into Aviemore and the Cairngorm area. That gave us an awful lot of great Highland landscape and west Highland landscape that was the real heart of some of Robert’s journey.

“It was really important to us to use as many sites as possible that Robert himself had a connection with.

“Treading in these hallowed places and feeling your feet are on the same ground these guys were on 700 years ago is a really resonant thing for me as a director, for the actors to get into their part and for everyone on the film set.”

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which own historical properties that appear in Outlaw King or have links to Robert the Bruce, say the film has been a factor in a rise in visitor numbers over the past 12 months.

VisitScotland produced an interactive online guide, On the trail of the Outlaw King, highlighting 20 film locations and 24 sites linked to Bruce across the country.

It has been viewed more than 45,000 times since the film’s release, with the majority of users from Germany (40 per cent), followed by France (31%), the UK (14%) and the USA (9%).

The top most popular destinations on the map are Loch Lomond, which depicts the Battle of Methven in the film; Dunstaffnage Castle, which was besieged and captured by Robert the Bruce in 1309; and Claigan Coral Beach on the Isle of Skye, which portrays Islay in the film.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: “It’s wonderful to see the reaction to Outlaw King. It’s fantastic to see so many film fans and history lovers taking advantage of our Outlaw King map to explore Scotland and the real story and locations behind the King of Scots.”