Shakespeare Gets the Independence Day Treatment

What happens when a director of disaster epics, such as Independence Day and 2012, turns his attention to the controversy about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays?

From the trailer of director Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, released yesterday, the result looks like Dan Brown meets the Elizabethan Era.

That’s Derek Jacobi in the beginning of the trailer. Also featured are Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I (Redgrave’s daughter Joely Richardson plays the younger Elizabeth). Rhys Ifans plays Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, regarded here as the true author of Shakespeare’s plays.

The movie is not  based on a specific book. For those interested in learning more, several books explore the various theories, including last year’s well-reviewed Contested Will by James Shapiro (S&S), which arrives at the conclusion that the author of Shakespeare’s plays is … William Shakespeare.

The movie is scheduled to release on Sept. 30.

Official Web Site:

Below, Shapiro says he wrote Contested Will as a way at looking at “why smart people think dumb things.”

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