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Actresses Margot Robbie (L) and Saoirse Ronan arrive for the Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, on February 5, 2018. (Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The first trailer for Mary, Queen of Scots was released yesterday (July 12), showing Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as two rival queens battling it out.

There are two contests at hand. First, the historical battle of wits between their characters, Mary, Queen of Scots and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England. And then there’s the tussle between two award-winning actors when the film is released in December, a.k.a. right in the middle of awards season.

On the one hand there’s Saoirse, yet to win a statuette despite being nominated three times for her performances in Lady Bird (2017), Brooklyn (2015), and Atonement (2007):

(Photo: Focus Features)

And on the other is Margot, who won an Oscar this year for her performance in I, Tonya, and has undergone another dramatic make-under to portray the aging queen of England:

(Photo: Focus Features)

Expect plenty of political intrigue with this film, and not least because the screenplay was written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. Mary’s Catholicism made her a huge threat to Protestant Elizabeth and her throne, and the trailer shows all hell breaking loose after she arrives back in Scotland from France, despite both queens’ best intentions of ruling peacefully alongside each other.

We couldn’t help but notice a very familiar voice, too, though you’d be forgiven for not recognizing its owner. That’s because David Tennant is dressed as a very beardy John Knox, the Scottish theologian who denounced Mary for her Catholic beliefs and the fact she was a woman.

We get a very brief glimpse of him around 01:50:

Mary, Queen of Scots opens in theaters on 7 December, 2018.

Are you excited to see this royal rivalry play out?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.