Columbia Pictures has debuted the ink-splattered poster for Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, a film that explores the myth that William Shakespeare was in fact a fraud… it even goes so far as to beg the question on the poster itself.
Starring Rhys Ifans as Edward de Vere and Rafe Spall as Shakespeare, the film centers on the long rumored theory that de Vere actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare. Anonymous has been described as something of a political thriller set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave), and the Essex Rebellion against her. Additionally, it’s been said that Ifans’s performance in this film is what brought him to the attention of Columbia suits and earned him the role as the lead villain, The Lizard, in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Along with those already mentioned, the film co-stars Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Jamie Campbell-Bower and Derek Jacobi.
Emmerich is best known for his disaster epics such as The Day After Tomorrow and 2012 so it will be interesting to see how he handles this feature. He has toned it down in the past, such as with The Patriot, but his tendency is to leave the world covered in rubble. So this may prove to be a test.
Anonymous is due in theaters on September 30. I’ve included the previously released trailer above and the poster and official synopsis directly below.
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.