Emmerich to tackle Shakespeare next
Ronald Emmerich likes throwing punches at big targets. He subjected planet Earth to alien attack in Independence Day, stuck it in the deep freeze in The Day After Tomorrow, and gave it a thorough rinse through in last year's 2012. Now he's looking to have a pop at demolishing something else pretty substantial: the reputation of William Shakespeare.
According to Empire, Emmerich's next film aims to address suggestions that the Bard's work was, in fact, not his own. The plot of Anonymous, which starts shooting later this month, rests on the contention, first put forward by J Thomas Looney in 1918, that the plays credited to Shakespeare were actually written by the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. De Vere was himself a patron of the arts who – according to the conspiracy theorists – was forced by social convention to publish under a pseudonym, lest his peers feel he was lowering his aristocratic standing by writing plays.
Rhys Ifans is on board as De Vere, while David Thewlis has signed up to play his father-in-law, William Cecil, chief adviser to Queen Elizabeth I and twice Secretary of State. Vanessa Redgrave will play Elizabeth.
Says Emmerich of the film: "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'."
Source: Guardian Online