Here is your first glimpse of Alicia Vikander as Katherine Parr in the Cannes-bound film Firebrand.
Gabrielle Tana’s Brouhaha Entertainment has released the first image of the Ex Machina protagonist in costume for the debut English-language film of Brazilian director Karim Ainouz. See it beneath.
Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Captain Marvel) portrays a conniving Henry VIII, portrayed by Alicia Vikander. Our exclusive photo features Alicia Vikander with the actresses who portray her chambermaids: Ruby Bentall (Poldark), Bryony Hannah (Call The Midwife), and Maia Jepsen.
Ainouz has requested that images of Jude Law as the many-married Tudor monarch remain under wraps until the film has screened in competition at Cannes.
It is strongly rumored that Firebrand will premiere at the Palais des Festivals on Sunday, May 21, though no official date has been set. FilmNation will conduct business on the Croisette.
She had no alternative.
Tana (Philomena, The Dig, The Invisible Woman) and Ainouz (The Invisible Life of Eurydice Gusmao, Love for Sale, Futuro Beach) describe Firebrand as a “psychological thriller” that examines how Katherine, the last of Henry’s six wives, endured her union with the monstrous king and maintained her composure in the 16th century.
“Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived” is a famous rhyme associated with Henry’s six wives, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jayne Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine. Henry’s shocking behavior is a major theme in Firebrand.
Katherine had no choice but to marry him, according to Tana, because that was the social norm at the time. When you’re told, “You’re marrying the monarch, you don’t say “no” and you have to make the best of the situation, which is what she did for as long as she could.
Filmed on location in Derbyshire in the UK’s Peak District, the film is based on Elizabeth Fremantle’s best-selling historical novel Queen’s Gambit, about Katherine’s survival strategies.
To avoid confusion with the popular Netflix drama The Queen’s Gambit, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess master, the title was altered to Firebrand.
Tana stated that Firebrand is not a “romanticized” regal marriage film. “Henry’s a butcher,” she continued. “It was a terrible union. Usually, there is pomp and circumstance at regal weddings, but that was not the case here. It was much more visceral, and this is where we get to the core of the matter.”
“History is open to numerous interpretations.”
Tana emphasized the significance of the film’s depiction of female strength. “Many of the world’s most intriguing leaders have been women. There is more complexity and diplomacy in the way they manage situations.”
Still, peril lurked in every corner of Henry’s court for Katherine. However, the queen had “a kind of sisterhood to help her,” as Tana explained: her ladies-in-waiting who watched her back, or more accurately, her neck.
They were especially vigilant whenever Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester and Henry’s most trusted advisor, was searching the palace for evidence to send Katherine to the Tower of London to be executed. Simon Russell-Beale plays the role of Gardiner.
Katherine also developed close relationships with Princess Mary and Princess Elizabeth, her stepdaughters. Mary is portrayed by Patsy Ferran (Jamestown), who received acclaim for her performance as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Paul Mescal. Junia Rees plays the role of Elizabeth.
Erin Doherty (The Crown, Chloe) portrays extremist preacher Anne Askew, whom Henry and his supporters labeled a heretic. Sam Riley (Control, Maleficent) and Eddie Marsan (Vice, Ray Donovan) portray key roles as senior courtiers Thomas and Edward Seymour, who were brothers Thomas and Edward Seymour.
Oscar-winning hair and makeup designer Jenny Shircore and Oscar-winning costume designer Michael O’Connor are among the creatives on Firebrand. The screenplay was written by Jessica and Henrietta Ashworth.Helen Scott was the production’s designer. Helene Louvart, a frequent collaborator of Ainouz, also made the journey to Derbyshire. Nina Gold has cast the film.