Roland Emmerich loves destruction. If you can’t glean that little tidbit from his filmography — Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 — then you’re doing it wrong. The man loves to take something great, like Earth or humanity, and force us to watch it die in the most theatrical (not to mention implausible) ways. So it makes perfect sense that he will next tackle the work of William Shakespeare with Anonymous.
Empire describes Anonymous as such: “Anonymous tackles the thorny theory that’s circulated for the past 100 years that Shakespeare’s plays were, in fact, written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.”
“We have Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth,” explained the king of Earth-murder. “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.”
He even went on to explain how he interprets the story: “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’.”
So there you have it. Roland Emmerich will be destroying the legacy of William Shakespeare next with his movie about how Rhys Ifans wrote a bunch of plays that were later labeled as Shakespeare’s. We knew it had to come down to the destruction of something, otherwise the prolific German director would surely not be involved. Perhaps though, this will be his great departure from grand tales of impending doom. Then again, maybe the planet will split in half somewhere in the second act. You just never know.