For all of his notoriety, it’s the wives of Henry VIII that often tend to be the focus of films and TV series. Such is the case with new historical drama Firebrand, which will see Michelle Williams playing Katherine Parr.
Famously the last of Henry’s wives and the one who – spoiler alert if you didn’t pay attention in history or never learned about her – survived the old divorce/execution-happy King. But that’s just part of her story – she was married three times (twice before, once after Henry) and was the first woman to publish under her own name in England.
“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,” Invisible Life director Karim Aïnouz, who is making his English-language directing debut with the film, says. “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. This is a reimagining of a ‘period’ film, a psychological horror film set in the Tudor court; a story of intrigue, agency and survival. Having Michelle Williams portray this remarkable woman, an actress of immeasurable talent and passion, is a dream come true.”
The Dig‘s Gabrielle Tana is aboard to produce, with Killing Eve veterans Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth at work on the script.