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(Photo: Sony Pictures Classics / YouTube)

Sir Kenneth Branagh has swapped Poirot’s gargantuan draught excluder for the twiddly ‘tache of William Shakespeare in a trailer released yesterday (December 5) for All is True.

After years of playing some of his most famous creations, the Murder on the Orient Express director and star plays the bard himself in the film, as well as direct it. And if that wasn’t intriguing enough, he’s also roped in long-time pals Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen to star alongside him.

We’ll just stop there and let you watch the trailer, shall we?

The film offers a rare look at Shakespeare’s personal life, showing him grappling with a number of personal crises – including the death of his son Hamnet, the burning down of the Globe theater, and his own retirement.

Dame Judi plays Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway, while Sir Ian is Henry Wriothesley, Shakespeare’s patron and the rumored inspiration behind the “Fair Youth” in his sonnets. Murder on the Orient Express‘s Kathryn Wilder plays Judith, Shakespeare’s younger daughter and Hamnet’s fraternal twin.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, which should come as no surprise, given the fact it was penned by Ben Elton. He’s the writer behind sitcoms like Upstart Crow, which stars Peep Show‘s David Mitchell as Shakespeare, and Blackadder, the classic time-leaping sitcom that gave Shakespeare (played by one Colin Firth) a brief cameo.

All is True opens in select theaters on December 21, 2018.

What do you think of Sir Ken as Shakespeare?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.