Roland Emmerich’s not the type of director you’d figure to make a Shakespeare movie, what with his penchant for destroying the world over and over and over again. And yet the Independence Day director’s next project, Anonymous, is a period film all about Shakespeare — or, more accurately, how Edward de Vere, the seventeenth Earl of Oxford, was actually Shakespeare. To figure out how Emmerich could make such a film, Dana Stevens visited the set and discovered what will surely calm everyone who hates pluots and prefers it when plums taste like plums, apricots taste like apricots, and disaster-movie directors don’t make art pictures. Emmerich “will be doing with literary conspiracy theories in Anonymous what he did with world monuments in 2012,” she writes, “taking really big famous ones and slamming them into each other.” In addition to extravagant sets, tons of extras, and we’re sure, somehow, special effects, Anonymous will argue, not only, that de Vere wrote Shakespeare’s plays, but that he was Elizabeth I’s illegitimate son, got Oedipal with her, had a child with her, and then wrote many sonnets to the resulting offspring. In short, Anonymous contains the lit-movie equivalent of breaking the Statue of Liberty’s face off.
The Shakespeare Apocalypse [Slate]