Michelle Williams to Play Henry VIII's Sixth Wife Katherine Parr in Psychological Horror Film 'Firebrand'
Michelle Williams is no stranger to a real-life role, having played 20th century actresses Marilyn Monroe and Gwen Verdon, but her latest project will take her all the way back to Tudor times.
The four-time Academy Award nominee is to star as Katherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, in the psychological horror movie Firebrand, Variety reports.
The movie is the English-language debut of Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz, whose last film The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão won a prestigious prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It has a screenplay by Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, whose credits include co-writing Killing Eve's season two episode "The Hungry Caterpillar" with Emerald Fennell.
In a statement, Aïnouz described Firebrand, quite intriguingly, as a "reimagining of a ‘period’ film."
"I could not be more excited to be bringing the undiscovered story of Katherine Parr to the screen, a ferociously brilliant woman who I am inspired by deeply and has been largely invisible, or certainly under-represented in English history," the director said. "Much is known about Henry VIII’s tyrannical reign, and those who perished and suffered at his hands, but my focus here is on a woman who not only managed to survive, but also, to thrive."
Parr became Henry VIII's sixth and final wife when they wed on July 12, 1543. At the time, she was 29 years old – 23 years the King's junior. After he died on January 28, 1547, she outlived him by a year and eight months before dying of complications arising from childbirth. By this point, she had married her fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley.
Many historians perceive Parr as a strong-willed, loyal, and sensible figure who enjoyed a close relationship with Henry VIII's three children from previous marriages. Among other noteworthy achievements, she was the first woman to publish under her own name in the English-language in England, so there should be plenty for Williams to sink her teeth into.
The movie is due to start shooting in the U.K. in early 2022. Bring it on!
Are you excited to see Michelle Williams portray Katherine Parr?