'Anonymous' Trailer: A History Lesson From Roland Emmerich

anonymous roland emmerich trailer

The full-length trailer for Anonymous has been released. Those of you who have always wondered what Shakespeare in Love directed by Roland Emmerich might look like, this is your movie.

Anonymous is the Independence Day director's take on the longtime conspiracy theories about the real author of William Shakespeare's collective works. Does it even need to be said that everything in this film (the subject matter, production design, soapy drama) looks to go over the top?

Extravagant productions are Emmerich's trade, though he is usually more concerned with destroying city landscapes and national monuments (see: ID4, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) than stylishly recreating Elizabethan era architecture and clothing. Nonetheless, that is exactly what Anonymous looks to offer, as the footage unveiled so far has done a good job of teasing the look and design of the film's early 17th century setting - as well as its hard-boiled conspiracy plot.

Here is an official synopsis for Anonymous:

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.

Now, check out the full-length trailer for Emmerich's period drama below:

Rhys Ifans (Amazing Spider-Man) stars in Anonymous as Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, who uses the young William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) as a pawn in a power struggle - set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I (Oscar-winner Vanessa Redgrave) and the 1601 Essex Rebellion against her. The rest of the cast will be filled out by stars like Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot) as a young Edward, David Thewlis (the Harry Potter franchise) as William Cecil, and Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck, The Tudors) as Princess Elizabeth Tudor, fittingly enough.

Despite the overblown nature of this trailer (what with the "blood and ink" motif and the use of Radiohead's "Everything In Its Right Place"), Anonymous looks kind of intriguing - if a bit silly. Ifans, Redgrave, and Thewlis tend to be good no matter what film they appear in, which bodes well for Emmerich's latest. Not to mention, again, the striking visual design.

Best to approach this one with caution, though, since trailers for Emmerich's films have a tendency to make them look better than they actually are. That's not exactly shocking, though, since he's always been more about the flashy spectacle - and less so, substance - which benefits from the standard trailer format.

Anonymous will arrive in U.S. theaters on October 28th, 2011.

Source: Columbia Pictures

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy in Lawless
Shia LaBeouf Didn’t Knock Out Tom Hardy (The Truth Is Weirder)

More in Movie Trailers