The film, penned by John Orloff, stars Tony Award winner Vanessa Redgrave (Long Day's Journey Into Night) and West End actor Rhys Ifans (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Under Milk Wood, Volpone) in a story centered around the (supposed) true author behind the works of William Shakespeare.
Redgrave portrays Queen Elizabeth I during the Essex Rebellion. Ifans plays Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who is not only the incestuous lover of the Queen, but also the man behind the classic works. (The film is a work of fiction, but questions about the authorship of the Bard's plays have been raised for centuries.)
Other members of the cast include Xavier Samuel, David Thewlis, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joely Richardson, Derek Jacobi, Tom Wlaschiha, Edward Hogg, Sebastian Armesto and Rafe Spall.
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, the film, according to studio notes, asks, "Who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? '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."
Read the Playbill.com feature in which Emmerich, Orloff, Richardson and Ifans discuss their work — and their views surrouding the question of Shakespeare as author of the plays attributed to him.
"Anonymous" is produced by Centropolis Entertainment and Studio Babelsberg, and distributed by Columbia Pictures.