Sony just released a number of new pictures and synopsis’ for their upcoming films, but the one that caught my eye is Roland Emmerich‘s Anonymous. You have Emmerich, the man known for destroying the world in a variety of end of the world scenarios in 2012, The Day After Tomorrow and others, taking on a drama that challenges one of the most famous authors of all time, William Shakespeare. Taking on Shakespeare in any way, whether it be about him or his work itself, is always a touchy subject because everyone has such high expectations for anything associated with his name and immediately questions name of anyone who attempts to tackle his work.
Sometimes the filmmakers try to be overly clever or seem to not understand the text itself. Other times you get something great like Shakespeare in Love or Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s a bit of a crap shoot and one that only the brave should tackle. Luckily for Emmerich, bravery seems to be something he’s quite comfortable with.
Anonymous is a film (with a great title I might add) that takes place in the Elizabethan era and asks the timeless question, who is the true writer of Shakespeare’s works? We have no real idea of the tone of the film, but we do know he cast a number of real actors such as Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave instead of A-list celebrities, so it should be a given that he’s going for a “real” film and not something sensational. And for those actors to sign on one could guess that the script must have been meaty enough to capture their attention (though The Tempest captured Helen Mirren and I have no idea why that is).
It seems as Emmerich will be going for a rather interesting, new-wave, high-brow film. Is he capable of such a feat? Well the story seems to be there…
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.
Though there does seem to be a lot of eye-liner…
Authentic or just wrong? I’m doing to go with, possibly cool and authentic? Yeah. I am!
Are you interested in the film? Do you think Emmerich can tackle Shakespeare, or more to the point, drama?