Sony Pictures Classics has released the first trailer for Kenneth Branagh’s latest directorial effort, “All Is True,” a star-studded biopic set during William Shakespeare’s twilight years. Branagh undergoes a wild transformation to play the immortal scribe, donning a prosthetic nose and his signature goatee. The director has enlisted Dame Judi Dench to play Shakespeare’s wife, Anne, and Sir Ian McKellen will dramatize one of the playwright’s most notable patrons, the Earl of Southampton Henry Wriothesley.
Per the official synopsis: “The year is 1613, Shakespeare is acknowledged as the greatest writer of the age. But disaster strikes when his renowned Globe Theatre burns to the ground, and devastated, Shakespeare returns to Stratford, where he must face a troubled past and a neglected family. Haunted by the death of his only son Hamnet, he struggles to mend the broken relationships with his wife and daughters. In so doing, he is ruthlessly forced to examine his own failings as husband and father. His very personal search for the truth uncovers secrets and lies within a family at war.”
Shakespeare’s uncertain final years have long preoccupied Branagh, who always wanted to explore this critical forgotten period. “All Is True” is the first dramatic screenplay from comedy writer Ben Elton, who has written for many British TV shows, including “Blackadder,” “The Young Ones,” and more recently the Shakespeare parody “Upstart Crow.”
Judi Dench recently announced she would be joining the cast of Tom Hooper’s “Cats,” a screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s mega-hit musical, based on the poems of T.S. Eliot.
Sony Pictures Classics will give “All Is True” an Oscar-qualifying one-week engagement at Los Angeles’ Laemmle Monica Film Center beginning Dec. 21.
Check out the trailer below.