Branagh directed from Ben Elton’s script about the little-known period in the final years of William Shakespeare. Branagh portrays the playwright with Dench as his wife Anne, while McKellen plays the Earl of Southampton.
The movie is set in 1613 with Shakespeare acknowledged as the greatest writer of the age. But his renowned Globe Theatre burns to the ground, and Shakespeare returns to Stratford, where he must face a troubled past and a neglected family. Haunted by the death of his only son Hamnet, he struggles to mend the broken relationships with his wife and daughters and is forced to examine his own failings as husband and father. Shakespeare died in 1616 at the age of 52.
The film is produced by Tamar Thomas and Ted Gagliano. Judy Hofflund, Matt Jenkins, Becca Kovacik, and Laura Berwick executive produced.
Branagh received directing and acting Oscar nods in 1990 for Shakespeare’s “Henry V,” and was nominated in 1997 for his screen adaptation of “Hamlet.” He’s also adapted, directed, and starred in movie versions of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” and “As You Like It.”
“We have known and worked with Ken for 25 years,” Sony Classics said in a statement. “We feel this is a movie he was destined to make. He conjures up for us the depth and dramatic richness of a character about whom we have always been fascinated. What we have seen has confirmed our excitement to plan a qualifying run at the end of this year and to open the movie fully in the new year. We believe audiences will embrace the freshness of ‘All Is True.’”
The film will have a one-week awards qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 21, followed by an official film release in 2019.