William Shakespeare could mount a last-minute shakeup in the Oscar race ahead.
Sony Pictures Classics — the distributor behind several awards-bound titles like Glenn Close’s The Wife and Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum — announced Tuesday it has acquired director-actor Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare drama All Is True in anticipation of an Academy Awards-qualifying run before the end of the year.
The film follows five-time Oscar nominee Branagh (who has directed several Shakespeare adaptations in the past) as the famed playwright in 1613 Britain. At the time, Shakespeare is regarded as the world’s premier writer, though the incineration of his Globe Theatre forces him to return to his hometown of Stratford to face his troubled past (including the death of his son Hamnet) and neglected family (namely his wife Anne, played by Judi Dench). Ian McKellen rounds out the cast as the Earl of Southampton.
“We have known and worked with Ken for twenty five years. 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,” a statement from the distributor reads. “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.”
All Is True will begin its theatrical run on Dec. 21 in limited release, with nationwide expansion expected at the top of 2019.