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New Shakespeare film 'will court controversy'

8th June 2011

Roland Emmerich has claimed his new film about William Shakespeare, which alleges the Bard did not write his plays, will deliberately court controversy.

The German director, who is most famous for making disaster films such as Independence Day and 2012, admitted his intention is to raise eyebrows with Anonymous, which stars Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave.

In the film, Shakespeare is portrayed as inarticulate and unintelligent, with Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, acknowledged as the true author of the Bard's many works.

However, Emmerich said the controversy will not stop there: 'That Shakespeare didn't write the plays is only one of the many scandals that this movie will unearth.'

The theory that Shakespeare was not responsible for writing many, or all, of his plays has been kept alive for centuries, with organisations including the De Vere Society sharing the same belief as the one highlighted in Emmerich's film.

Charles Beauclerk, president of the De Vere Society, recently told the BBC that Hamlet was 'an expose of the Elizabethan Court' written by De Vere and was only attributed to Shakespeare to 'depoliticise' it.

'With Shakespeare as author, Hamlet becomes a harmless tale about an ancient Danish prince,' he added.

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