Roland Emmerich is best known for devising means by which the Earth can be destroyed (see: Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012), but he also has a thing for expensive historical epics – be it the Revolutionary War drama The Patriot or the ancient-world adventure 10,000 B.C. His latest film, Anonymous, belongs in that latter category.

A teaser trailer has been released for Anonymous – which has nothing to do with 4chan, in case you were wondering – and it suggests the Emmerich’s new film will be anything but low-key in atmosphere and design. Shocking, we know.

Anonymous is set against the backdrop of the Essex Rebellion during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave), around the dawn of the 17th century. The film reveals that it was Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans), the Earl of Oxford, who was actually responsible for crafting the collective works of William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall). Due to an elaborate and far-reaching conspiracy, the former has never received credit for his impressive accomplishments.

That is the basic premise behind Emmerich’s Anonymous, which also throws a whole lot in the way of illicit romance, political intrigue, cloak-and-dagger conspiracy, and power-hungry nobles into the mix. The result? A period drama that unabashedly earns the title of being historical fiction.

Watch the Anonymous teaser trailer (via Yahoo Movies) below:

If there’s one thing you can count on in a film directed by Emmerich – besides everything being big and loud – it’s lavish production values. The footage shown in this Anonymous teaser features plenty of fancy costumes, sets, and large scale CGI used to create the centuries-old European setting. What brief glimpses we get to see of the twists and turns in the plot look quite overblown and souped-up as well.

Anonymous seemingly amounts to a crackpot conspiracy thriller, which is not exactly shocking, either. The question for now is whether or not it’ll be entertaining, or just kind of dumb. John Orloff (co-writer of Legend of the Guardians) penned the screenplay, which can be seen as kind of a mixing blessing.

On the one hand, Emmerich is not generally regarded as being adept at screenwriting, and the films that he both wrote and directed – with all their plot holes and corny dialogue – often reflect that. On the other hand, Emmerich’s movies are (for me, at least) kind of guilty pleasures partially because they tend to be so ludicrously constructed. We’ll just have to wait and see if Anonymous turns out to be genuinely good, entertainingly bad, or just plain awful.

Anonymous is scheduled to hit theaters this fall on September 30th.

Source: Yahoo Movies