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Michelle Williams to Play Queen Catherine Parr, Final Wife of Henry VIII, Alongside Jude Law in 'Firebrand'

Michelle Williams to Play Queen Catherine Parr, Final Wife of Henry VIII, Alongside Jude Law in 'Firebrand'

Michelle Williams and Jude Law are taking on historic roles.

The 41-year-old actress and 48-year-old actor are set to star in Firebrand, a psychological horror royal drama, Deadline reported.

Michelle stars as Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, and also the only one to avoid banishment or death. Jude will play the King.

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Here’s a plot summary: “By the time young Catherine Parr (Williams) married the deteriorating, increasingly despotic King Henry VIII (Law), she had no assurances of a happy marriage; in fact, she had no assurances of surviving this marriage at all. Of her predecessors, two were thrown out, one died in childbirth and two were beheaded. While Catherine tried to keep her head about her to navigate the politics of her position, she brought a secret agenda. She was Protestant, believed it her duty to marry Henry, for it would be the only position in which she could convert him – and the kingdom – from his pro-Catholic position. That faith was tested when the church resisted granting his divorce from his first wife so he could marry Anne Boleyn, who would later be beheaded. With arrests, torture, and executions of Protestants on the rise, Catherine invited a dangerous game that would leave one of them dead before long. The thriller is told through Catherine’s singular point-of-view of the psychological horror of living with a monster—and the remarkable will to not only survive, but thrive.”

Karim Aïnouz, who will direct, said: “This a woman who deserves a portrait. 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.”

“One of the first things that came to mind when I started this was the legend of Bluebeard. I think it’s important to revisit narratives that have been conveyed as romantic love stories,” he continued.

“Henry was a most interesting person, but he was uber-violent, which was in tune with the times. Jude will not play him as the clichéd fat man eating the turkey leg. Jude got how complex this guy was, not a loveable character but as a most powerful man of his time. And Michelle immediately came to mind. I so admire her choices, going back to Brokeback Mountain, and there is something fascinating about her each time I rediscover her in a performance.”

He also said they’ve found a location and castle from the period where you “can hear the ghosts.”

Michelle Williams recently starred in Venom 2, which was a box office surprise hit.

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