"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."
Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jacobi, David Thewlis, Rafe Spall, and Mark Rylance star in the master of disaster Roland Emmerich's new movie Anonymous arguing that Shakespeare's plays were written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. To allow enough cannonfire and violence to keep today's audiences engaged with a story about writing, the story unfolds during the Essex rebellion.
Director Roland Emmerich says of the film:
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 labelled ‘William Shakespeare.