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The Will of the Sonnets

The Will of the Sonnets

A Screenplay

The true story of William Shakespeare's tumultuous, bisexual life, revealed through the diary of his heart, as societal forces seek to destroy him.


The Will of the Sonnets is a completed screenplay, available for review by registered filmmakers on the Black List.

Visit my Black List profile at https://blcklst.com/profile/james-anthony


 

About the BLACK LIST

The Black List is the industry marketplace for movie scripts. 10 of the last 20 Oscars for 'Best Screenplay' came through the Black List. Reviews are carried out exclusively by approved industry professionals. 

FEEDBACK ON 'the will of the sonnets' FROM THE BLACK LIST

THE WILL OF THE SONNETS is a well-written script with some sweet moments that could attract a similar audience as SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE but which is distinct enough to stand apart as an independent and unique project.
THE WILL OF THE SONNETS is an ambitious retelling of Shakespeare’s life and career inspired by his own words. While it’s clear that some creative liberties have been taken, the use of the sonnets to cement milestones and significant moments in the Bard’s life is an effective device used to create a narrative through line in an inventive way.
Shakespeare as the protagonist is a compelling figure with clear motivation and well defined wants and needs. Given his historical prominence, Shakespeare has always been a quixotic figure considering how little is truly known about his identity so this retelling of his life stands out as a fresh way to explore a familiar figure.
It’s genuinely refreshing to read a script that engages directly with Shakespeare’s largely-erased queerness right from the start.
This script has a bold and admirable intent to reclaim Shakespeare’s complex sexuality and its connection to his work.
The dialogue throughout generally feels authentic to the era and the character delivering it, especially when it comes to some of the witty yet heartfelt banter.
Its settings are well drawn as well, from the theaters of Stratford Upon Avon to the more urban climate of London, the script is visually rich and varied.
The London setting is both historically necessary and well explored, with a great theater and an even greater audience (Queen Elizabeth, King James) lending a sense of history and scale to Shakesepeare’s accomplishments, while the crawl at the end detailing the fates of the supporting characters is satisfying.
It may be a bit bawdy for younger viewers but it has a very contemporary tone that should appeal to modern audiences.
In terms of casting there are a number of juicy roles, both for the main characters and the supporting ones, that should appeal to actors and actresses alike. It goes without saying that William is a strong role for a leading man but Queen Elizabeth and King James could be solid cameo opportunities as well.
There is the potential for a great role in Will that could attract an actor with the clout to get a project like this off the ground.
While there have been a number of feature films that have explored the life and times of the Bard in a variety of ways, perhaps most notably “Shakespeare in Love,” The Will of the Sonnets still manages to feel fresh.
With a little further development, this could become a truly special project.