Roland Emmerich hates you.
I mean, he has to, right? His movies fall into two basic categories: The "let's destroy the world" category ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Godzilla," "2012"), and the "let's go back and tinker with history to make it uniformly terrible" category ("Stargate," "The Patriot." "10,000 B.C."). He doesn't want you to be happy in the past, present, or future.
Well, his latest falls squarely in the latter category. In what will be incredulously known as "the Roland Emmerich Shakespeare movie," "Anonymous" is a historical/political thriller wrapped around the theory that William Shakespeare may not be the author of the works credited to William Shakespeare. It's an odd topic for a director more accustomed to broader strokes like having Revolutionary War soldiers stab people with flagpoles or populating a post-Ice Age New York with inexplicable super-werewolves.
But, hey, he's got an impressive cast (Vanessa Redgrave, Derek Jacobi, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, and Comic Con public enemy Rhys Ifans), so who knows? We'll have to just wait and see....and secretly hope that at some point the Globe Theater is overrun by prehistoric were-chickens.
"Anonymous" opens Oct. 28.
P.S. "We've all been played"? That's not doing much to stop us from assuming that a "Roland Emmerich Shakespeare movie" will essentially end up being this: