Michelle Williams and Jude Law have been cast as Catherine Parr and Henry VIII, respectively, in Firebrand, a movie which is being described as a psychological horror tale about the marriage between the two.
Parr was Henry’s last wife, and the only one to avoid banishment or death. Karim Aïnouz will be directing from a script by Jessica and Henrietta Ashworth.
The film will be told from Parr’s point of view as she navigates a marriage that she has only agreed to by duty, and considering the fates of her predecessors, she is rightly concerned for her wellbeing.
“This is a woman who deserves a portrait,” Aïnouz told Deadline.
“There has been much depicted on the king and the wives that perished. It’s important to look at someone who turns out to be stronger than the forces around them. This is a modernistic look at the classic trope of the woman trapped in a castle with a monster”.
This sounds pretty fascinating. So many stories surrounding the Tudors usually focus on Henry VIII as protagonist, with Parr, as his final wife, usually reduced to a little more than a footnote. To depict him as “uber-violent, which was in tune with the times” as Aïnouz also said, with Parr as the center of the story, should give audiences a fresh perspective on well-trodden territory.
The Ashworth sisters are known for their work on Killing Eve, so alongside a more modern and feminist look at the central marriage, we can probably expect plenty of blood, too. And to tell this story within the psychological horror genre will be interesting to see.
There’s no release date or distributor announced yet, although Brouhaha Entertainment are producing.
Williams just appeared in Venom: Let There Be Carnage and is currently working on projects from acclaimed directors – Steven Spielberg‘s The Fablemans and Kelly Reichardt‘s Showing Up.
Law will next be seen playing key roles in two big fantasy films – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore as the title character, and Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan & Wendy.