Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I go to "war" in the latest trailer for this December's historical drama, Mary Queen of Scots. The film stars Oscar nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as the cousins (or, as they call themselves, "sisters") Mary and Elizabeth, who come to clash with one another after Mary returns to her native Scotland and challenges England's (and, thus, Elizabeth's) claim to the country's throne.
Ronan has actually been attached to star in Mary Queen of Scots since 2012, back when the film was being written by Michael Hirst (the writer of the Oscar-winning Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age). The movie was thereafter rewritten by Beau Willimon, who drew from John Guy's 2005 book Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart for his screenplay. Willimon himself is best known for his work on George Clooney's political thriller The Ides of March (as adapted from his own play, Farragut North) and created Netflix's White House-based TV series House of Cards.
Unsurprisingly, given Willimon's background, it seems that Mary Queen of Scots focuses more on the political aspects of Mary and Elizabeth's story than anything else. The first Mary Queen of Scots trailer likewise shone a light on the ways that the two Queen struggle to gain power over not only one another, but also the larger patriarchal society in which the pair exist. Universal Pictures has now released an international trailer that dives even deeper into that political conflict, as you can see in the space below.
Mary Queen of Scots was directed by Josie Rourke, the Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse. With an extensive background in stage productions that includes plays by William Shakespeare, Eve Ensler and David Mamet (among other famed playwrights), Rourke brings a real sense of theatricality and a knack for actor-driven drama that looks to serve Mary Queen of Scots well. The film likewise appears to boast some impressive production values and set/costume designs... though, naturally, their historical accuracy (or lack thereof) is another matter.
Although Mary Queen of Scots skipped the major film festivals this past month (specifically, those in Venice and Toronto), it will premiere at the 2018 AFI Fest in mid-November, some three weeks before it opens in U.S. theaters. It will certainly be interesting to see how the film goes over with the AFI crowd and, thus, whether it becomes a late addition to the 2019 awards season race that's already started. In the meantime, Mary Queen of Scots continues to look quite promising in its trailer form.
Source: Universal Pictures