Anonymous is based on the fringe idea that Shakespeare's works weren't actually written by Shakespeare but rather by another famous Elizabethan. The most popular candidate is Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, (it's known as the Oxfordian theory of authorship and has been pretty comfortably discredited) and it's he who will be named as the author of Shakespeare's poems and plays in Emmerich's film. The film is to be set among the Tudors and the Cecils, who are squabbling over who will succeed Queen Elizabeth on the throne of England. The argument regarding succession provides the backdrop for the explanation as to how and why the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare's plays and poems. But lest you think the excitement ends there, not only did de Vere write Shakespeare's work in this undertaking, he was also the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth I. Who then goes on to have an affair with her as an adult. Cer-azy!
The writer of the script responds to an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times.
Shapiro claimed that our film does a disservice to Shakespeare's legacy and devalues his imagination. Now, setting aside the fact that we haven't yet finished shooting our film (and one must therefore assume that Shapiro hasn't seen it), I would say our film aspires to do quite the opposite.
Finally, I would ask Shapiro the following: Does he really think so little of the 37 plays and 154 sonnets -- and the genius who wrote them -- that he believes one film could possibly destroy their 400-year-old legacy?
With Emmerich as the director, this film sounds dangerously entertaining, although Orloff shows signs of seriousness. Thoughts?