Anonymous Preview Clips: Will the Real William Shakespeare Please Stand Up?
09.18.11 by BJSprecher
One of the most controversial theories in the field of literature — that William Shakespeare, widely considered to be the greatest writer in the English language, was not the actual author of the works he has become famous for having written — lies at the heart of producer-director Roland Emmerich's (10,000 B.C., 2012) new historical thriller, Anonymous. The movie, written by John Orloff (A Mighty Heart), explores the theory first proposed by English schoolteacher J. Thomas Looney in his book Shakespeare Identified (1920) that the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans), was the actual literary genius, with Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) simply a hired stand-in. Why would de Vere not want to take credit for his brilliant writing and how did Shakespeare come into the picture? The two new preview clips from the movie that were recently released by Columbia Pictures answer precisely those questions.
In the first clip, Edward de Vere (Ifans) commands Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) to stage one of his plays as his own, explaining that his social ranking would be damaged were he to do it himself.
In the second clip, Shakespeare (Spall) begs to play the lead in the play, but Johnson simply wants him to act like a writer.
The cast of Anonymous includes Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I, Joely Richardson as Princess Elizabeth Tudor, Xavier Samuel as Henry Wriothesley, David Thewlis as William Cecil and Jamie Campbell Bower as the young Earl of Oxford.