Sony Pictures Classics has released the All Is True trailer. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in the film, which sees him playing a retired William Shakespeare who has returned to Stratford after the Globe Theater burns to the ground. Haunted by the death of his son Hamnet, he must reexamine the broken relationships in his life and try to mend them.
It would be an understatement to say that Branagh is no stranger to Shakespeare, and perhaps the biggest surprise here is that the Oscar-nominated actor hasn’t played the Bard sooner. While there’s an angle on this that feels like “Shakespeare in Love but sad” where the writer imagines Shakespeare to fit a narrative removed from history, I’m still curious to see what insight Branagh brings to the character after adapting Shakespeare to stage and screen for three decades decades.
Check out the All Is True trailer below. The film opens in limited release in L.A. on December 21st and also stars Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.
Here’s the official synopsis for All Is True:
The year is 1613, Shakespeare is acknowledged as the greatest writer of the age. But disaster strikes when his renowned Globe Theatre burns to the ground, and devastated, Shakespeare returns to Stratford, where he must face a troubled past and a neglected family. Haunted by the death of his only son Hamnet, he struggles to mend the broken relationships with his wife and daughters. In so doing, he is ruthlessly forced to examine his own failings as husband and father. His very personal search for the truth uncovers secrets and lies within a family at war.
Branagh has long wanted to explore this forgotten and critical period of Shakespeare’s life. It is a natural and exciting evolution in his career-long passion for the man’s work. This is screenwriter Ben Elton’s first original drama. Amongst the exceptional creative team are Production Designer James Merifield (MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS), Director of Photography Zac Nicholson (THE DEATH OF STALIN), Costume Designer Michael O’Connor (JANE EYRE), Hair and Makeup Designer Vanessa White (BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY), Editor Úna Ní Dhonghaíle (THE CROWN), Casting Directors Lucy Bevan & Emily Brockmann (BEAUTY & THE BEAST) and Composer Patrick Doyle (SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and HAMLET). The film is produced by Kenneth Branagh, Ted Gagliano and Tamar Thomas. Executive producers are Judy Hofflund, Matt Jenkins, Becca Kovacik, and Laura Berwick.