Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
A perfect night in with EE
Win £200 to spend on the perfect night in
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Interstellar Wins Best Film At The Empire Awards
All the winners announced at Jameson Empire Awards 2015
Hugh Jackman Hints Wolverine 3 Will Be His Last Mutant Movie
Will he hang up the claws?
Akiva Goldsman Overseeing More Transformers Films
He'll produce and oversee writers for new movies
Bill Hader Finds The BFG
He'll be part of Steven Spielberg's Roald Dahl adaptation
Vincent D'Onofrio In Talks For Magnificent Seven
He's in line to be the villain
Alessandra Ambrosio Joins Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
Supermodel will meet the heroes in a half-shell
Audra McDonald Joins Beauty And The Beast
She'll be Garderobe
Simon Helberg Set For Florence Foster Jenkins
He's joining Stephen Frears' latest
First Teaser For Patrick Stewart's Blunt Talk
'Did he say Falklands sarcastically?'
DreamWorks Animation's Home Invades The US Box Office
Get Hard jailed in second
The Jameson Empire Awards 2015 Live Blog
All the winners and presenters as it happens!
Jameson Empire Awards Arrivals Gallery
Chastain! Gillan! Atwell! Cavill! Fans!
Spectre Opening Sequence Will Be 'Biggest In Bond History'
Empire reports from Day Of The Dead in Mexico
More Movie News

Exclusive: Emmerich On Anonymous
Thewlis, Redgrave and Ifans Sign Up

25 February 2010  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

submit to reddit

Fresh from annihilating the entire planet in 2012, Roland Emmerich is soon to set to work on the reputation of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, with Anonymous.

It’s a major departure for Emmerich, who’s abandoning global cataclysms and puppies-in-peril for sonnets and subterfuge, and swapping CGI for live action. Anonymous tackles the thorny theory that's circulated for the past 100 years that Shakespeare’s plays were, in fact, written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford. The director divulged his cast of Elizabeth types when we caught up with him.

“We have Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth; David Thewlis as William Cecil, old and young; and Rhys Ifans as The Earl Of Oxford. It’s a true English cast and I’m really proud of it. There’s 12 main characters and 20 or 30 other characters, and each of the characters is really good.”

The (admittedly Welsh) Ifans will be playing the key figure in this literary intrigue. Oxford, a playwright, poet and patron of the arts, fell under the influential shadow of Robert Cecil, the Queen’s secretary of state, a key player in Elizabethan politics and the man widely thought to be the inspiration for Hamlet’s Polonius.

So how does Emmerich describe Anonymous? “It’s a mix of a lot of things: it’s an historical thriller because it’s about who will succeed Queen Elizabeth and the struggle of the people who want to have a hand in it. It’s the Tudors on one side and the Cecils on the other, and in between [the two] is the Queen. Through that story we tell how the plays written by the Earl of Oxford ended up labelled 'William Shakespeare'.”

It’s the grassy knoll of literary conspiracies and not exactly the material you’d expect Emmerich to tackle (unless he’s secretly planning to blow up Stratford), but the results should be intriguing. Shooting starts in Berlin in March.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

De Palma And... Paranormal Activity 2?
Director is on studio's shortlist
Todd Field Accepts The Creed Of Violence
Update: He's got the funds to make it

Your Comments

I've studied this subject for the last 15 years under Ruth Miller until her passing and I'm happy that it's finally moving forward. It's long over due. More

Posted by Jerrry at 13:42 on 14 April 2010 | Report This Post

Anonymous by Emmerich
Within the Oxfordian movement (scholars who have proven Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford wrote the Shake-Speare canon) we still disagree about critical facts in this suppressed history of the early English state. But one thing we all agree about is that the Stratford Shakspere had nothing to do with the noble works we read and view today. He was a promoter, producer, money-lender, property-owner, but never the writer who wrote the works, de Vere, whose pseudonym Shake-Speare, meaningful to More

Posted by zweigenbaum at 06:50 on 12 March 2010 | Report This Post

Hooray for aka
Ever since reading Mark Anderson's "Shakespeare by Another Name", I am convinced that Edward De Vere was Shakespeare by another name. I would like the movie to deal with DeVere's similarities to Shakespeare's wastrel, Prince Hal, and DeVere''s world tour entourage to the places "Shakespeare" eventually placed his works. The trip was paid for by selling his own land to see others. I now read/hear the Bard as a player and confident in Elizabeth's court not an outsider. An More

Posted by simplysimon2 at 16:31 on 25 February 2010 | Report This Post

Turning over a new page
Thank heavens he isn't making another disaster movie because 2012 was a complete and utter disaster compared to The Day After Tomorrow. This could be good and don't think anyone of us saw this coming till now. More

Posted by nybras at 14:23 on 25 February 2010 | Report This Post

Makes total sense to me...but then I am clinically insane. More

Posted by Youshouldberunning at 14:06 on 25 February 2010 | Report This Post

Pass
Considering this is coming from one of the least subtle directors in Hollywood this has as much promise as the prospect of Michael Bay shooting War and Peace. At least we've been spared the 2012 series for now. More

Posted by granny at 11:43 on 25 February 2010 | Report This Post

christ, this is a departure, I thought he'd be more comfortable making a sequel to Moon 44, this sounds quite interesting. More

Posted by 62Parker at 11:23 on 25 February 2010 | Report This Post

Didn't see that one coming. More

Posted by dunkah at 11:14 on 25 February 2010 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Fast & Furious 7 Review
We run the rule on the return of Toretto, Hobbs and co

Empire Meets Alison Brie
The Get Hard star on Ken Jeong, Toto and her favourite episode of Community

17 ‘What The?’ TV Cameos From Film Directors
From Spike Jonze as a music exec to Peter Bogdanovich as… himself?

Empire Meets Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
On A Second Chance, Game Of Thrones pranks and Headhunters' poo scene

The Secrets Behind 44 Classic Cinema Sound Effects
No really, the Ringwraiths are actually plastic cups...

The 30 Greatest Superhero Movies Of All Time
Empire readers pick their top super flicks

10 Videos Every Tom Hanks Fan Should Have Watched By Now
Of course, everyone in the world is a Tom Hanks fan…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)