Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, and David Thewlis Are ANONYMOUS in Roland Emmerich’s Shakespeare Thriller

     February 25, 2010

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According to Empire, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis, and Rhys Ifans have been cast in Roland Emmerich’s next film, Anonymous.  Everyone is still wrapping their heads around the movie because it’s a period-piece/political-thriller and the world is not about to be smashed by an inter-galactic space hammer.  Instead, Anonymous, takes on the controversial theory that Shakespeare didn’t write his own plays, and that it was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who deserves credit.  Here’s how Emmerich has lined up three of his twelve main characters:

“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.”

I doubt that all of the characters are really re good.  I know that Duke Pudding of Figgy is going to be chatting on his cell phone the whole time.  And then he’ll explode.

Hit the jump for history on how Robert Cecil and Oxford crossed paths as well as Emmerich’s description of the film.

anonymous_edward_de_vere_historical_painting_01.JPGOxford was a poet, playwright, and patron of the arts who fell in with a bad crowd, or rather, not so nice man: 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.”  However, he was not the inspiration for Polonius’ death of getting stabbed through a curtain due to mistaken identity.  The inspiration for that was Spotted Dick, 3rd Baron of Poor-Namingshire.

Here’s how Emmerich describes 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 labeled ‘William Shakespeare’.”

And then we can make a sequel about how Shakespeare professors the world over did not care for this movie.

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