Celebrate Moonfall With Roland Emmerich's Conspiracy Theory Himbo Shakespeare Movie

I long for the days when the public perception of conspiracy theories was based in nonsensical fun like whether or not Bigfoot is real, and not this current timeline where people gather en masse at Dealey Plaza awaiting the "return" of the very dead JFK Jr. so he can become the vice presidential running mate of Trump in 2024. In 2011, master of disaster Roland Emmerich took a break from his usual schtick of films like "Independence Day," "Godzilla" and "The Day After Tomorrow" to play with one of the oldest and most frequently debated harmless conspiracy theories in history — that William Shakespeare didn't actually write all of those plays and sonnets. 

Recently added to Hulu as a sign that the universe loves us and wants us to be happy and NOT because Emmerich's "Moonfall" is due out on February 4, 2022, "Anonymous" is the story of Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans), one of the people rumored to have been the true author of the works attributed to William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall).

The original trailer for the film featured the Radiohead song "Everything in its Right Place," so if anyone was looking toward a film about whether or not Shakespeare was a fraud set to the tune of Radiohead for historical accuracy, that sounds like a personal problem. The brilliance of "Anonymous" is not that it's a film that blows the doors off a widely accepted truth, but because it presents a frequently debunked theory as absolutely true, as if an entire film production is playing one giant practical joke.

Emmerich Made Campy Historical Fanfiction, And It Rules

People give Emmerich a lot of flack for his films being less-than-grounded-in-reality, which means they're frequently missing out on a lot of fun that could be had. While "Anonymous" is more about tearing down universally accepted truths than blowing up buildings with alien spaceships, it looks just as magnificent as any of his other sweeping epics. His film before "Anonymous" was "2012," the disaster thriller inspired by Charles Hapgood's theory that polar shift and the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar show 2012 would bring the end of the world. The man clearly lives for crackpot theories, and considering "Anonymous" presents a far more harmless theory than something that may possibly encourage doomsday preppers, it allows us the space to give ourselves over to the high-camp fanfiction he's created. 

"Anonymous" features great decisions like Joely Richardson playing the younger version of her mother Vanessa Redgrave as Queen Elizabeth I and the theory that Edward de Vere fathered a child with Queen Elizabeth I while also being her illegitimate son making their child both is son and brother ...which is absolutely some messy Shakespearean drama that I WISH was true. In preparation for "Moonfall," which includes NASA teaming up with a conspiracy theorist to save humanity after the moon is knocked from orbit, "Anonymous" feels like the perfect appetizer, even if you never did get around to reading "A Midsummer Night's Dream" after all these years.