Michelle Williams cast as Henry VIII’s last wife in upcoming film Firebrand

The film is based on author Elizabeth Fremantle’s novel Queen’s Gambit
Michelle Williams cast as Henry VIII’s last wife in upcoming film Firebrand

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Michelle Williams is set to star as the last of Henry VIII’s six wives, Katherine Parr, in upcoming film Firebrand.

It will mark the directorial English language debut for award-winning Brazilian filmmaker and screenwriter Karim Ainouz.

Ainouz has said Firebrand will be a psychological horror film set in the Tudor court, filled with “intrigue, agency and survival”.

The film is based on author Elizabeth Fremantle’s novel Queen’s Gambit, which explores the life of Henry VIII of England’s last wife.

Ainouz said: “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.

“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.”

On the film’s first casting, he added: “Having Michelle Williams portray this remarkable woman, an actress of immeasurable talent and passion, is a dream come true.”

60th BFI London Film Festival – Manchester By The Sea Premiere
The psychological horror film set in the Tudor court will explore the life of Katherine Parr. (Ian West/PA)

Ainouz’s latest film, Mariner Of The Mountains, premieres in Cannes at a special screening on July 9th.

Firebrand is planned to go into production in the UK in early 2022.

It will be produced by Gabrielle Tana and written by Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, who helped write an episode of the second series of the spy thriller series Killing Eve.

Tana said: “I love all of Karim’s work to date and I’m so excited to be working with him.

“I know that Michelle will do glorious work with Karim.”

Dawson’s Creek star Williams, who recently won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her role as Gwen Verdon in the miniseries Fosse/Verdon, will next be seen in the superhero sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

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