Of course central to the concept is what is euphemistically called "The Authorship Question," the idea that an apparently uneducated man from the provincial town of Stratford-on-Avon couldn't have possibly written the greatest works in the English language, that only a man with an aristocratic background could have been privy to the knowledge displayed in the plays and sonnets.
As part of my research I've read numerous books proposing alternative candidates, and in fact I am in the middle of one at this moment, and none have yet presented what I would call a conclusive case. Then again neither is the case for The Stratford Man that strong either - and therein lies the fascination, and the springboard for my novel.
Not long after I started the project I pitched the idea to a movie producer friend, who liked it enough to take it to a few studios for consideration - the response we got? This is a direct quote from one email - "It just seems extremely difficult unless you can bring a pre-existing property that has a huge fan base or a property that has a niche fan base to build on."
I guess the underlying message was that no-one believed a Shakespeare movie had enough pulling power.
And then today I see this......
At first I was a little pissed off to be honest, but after a few minutes reflection I realized that's the way things work. Sometimes it's your turn and other times it isn't. You just shrug and move on.
So will this movie open up debate on the authorship question and make it easier to get people interested in my project? - Who knows.
The thing that has me worried that it might have the exact opposite effect is those words that appear over the shot of the River Thames and London Bridge at the 55 second mark ... "A Roland Emmerich Film."
I somehow doubt that this will be an intelligent, balanced presentation of the central debate.
In the mean time I continue to research and work on developing the best story I can that mixes history with informed speculation, plus some plain good fun, and all-out action.