Tag Archives: John Orloff

From The “In Case You Missed It” Department: Anonymous Screenwriter John Orloff Answers Critics In The Guardian

This appeared several weeks ago.  In case you missed it … or in case you want to review again … well worth reading.  Here’s the link followed by a few paragraphs.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/27/shakespeare-scholars-authorship-plays-anonymous?intcmp=239

Our film Anonymous asks viewers to think for themselves about Shakespeare

Criticism of Anonymous has been vitriolic. But scholarship about Shakespeare’s life relies on smoke and mirrors

John Orloff

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 October 2011 11.00 EDT

As the screenwriter of Anonymous, I’ve watched the reactions to the film both here in the UK and in the US with great interest and not a little surprise. The film-makers, myself included, expected controversy – one does not take on sacred cows naively – but I must confess that the vitriol of our critics has been impressive.

One American Ivy League professor, James Shapiro, has insinuated that our film is like Nazi propaganda. The county of Warwickshire allowed the Shakespeare Trust to temporarily remove Shakespeare’s name from public signs – an act of protest against our film that seems counter-productive; anti-Stratfordians couldn’t agree more with that act.

Throughout the run-up to the film’s release, I have been reminded that one does not take on people’s livelihoods lightly.

While our little film not only does not disparage the genius of Hamlet and Lear, but rather honours, rightly, the genius of the work, it does challenge two Bard-related industries – tourism and, perhaps more provocatively, Shakespearean scholarship itself.

Read More:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/27/shakespeare-scholars-authorship-plays-anonymous?intcmp=239

John Orloff, Screenwriter of Anonymous, Responds to Shapiro in The Huffington Post

In case you missed John Orloff’s thoughtful response to Professor James Shapiro’s New York Times op-ed piece.  Orloff’s response highlights one of the perennial orthodox attacks against the Oxford theory — which Professor Shapiro employs in his New York Times piece — namely that Oxford died in 1604 before 10 or so Shakespeare plays were “written.”  This claim of post 1604 composition is at best an educated guess.  But it is frequently stated as if it is incontrovertible fact.  Like so much of the traditional Stratfordian theory, this post-1604 composition assertion is based on conjecture and assumption.  Yes there are some rather convoluted arguments for this assertion, but it’s a far cry from established by hard evidence.

In any event, here’s the link to the Huffington Post followed by a few graphs from Orloff’s article.  Enjoy, Matthew

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-orloff/shakespeare-anonymous_b_1034885.html

The Shakespeare Authorship Question

As the screenwriter of the upcoming Elizabethan drama Anonymous, I read Columbia Professor James Shapiro’s opinion piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/opinion/hollywood-dishonors-the-bard.html?_r=1) regarding our film in the NY Times last week with great interest. In it, Mr. Shapiro seemed to take great personal offense at the premise of our film; namely, that the works attributed to the actor William Shakespeare were in fact written by another man, Edward de Vere.

Not only did the NY Times decline to allow me to fully respond, but Mr. Shapiro refuses to be on the same stage with me at Q & A’s following screenings of the film — though he is happy to take questions from audiences as long as I am not present to defend myself or my film.

As the Shakespeare Authorship Question is a rather complex issue, I won’t attempt to prove my case that Shakespeare is not the man responsible for the works attributed to him in this forum.

SNIP

Again, here’s the link to the full article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-orloff/shakespeare-anonymous_b_1034885.html

Christina Radish Interviews Screenwriter John Orloff About Roland Emmerich’s “Anonymous” — A Period Drama About The Shakespeare Authorship Mystery

Check out this interview with John Orloff, the screenwriter behind Roland Emmerich’s forthcoming film about the Shakespeare Authorship Mystery.  Note that the movie’s release date has been pushed back from March 2011 to September 23, 2011.   Here are a few paragraphs from the interview … followed by the link to read the entire article.  Enjoy!  Matthew

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John Orloff is an acclaimed screenwriter who is quickly proving how adept he is at creating worlds that audiences can lose themselves in. He has the Zack Snyder-directed 3D animated feature Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole in theaters on September 24th, and then Anonymous, a period drama centered on the Shakespeare authorship question, directed by Roland Emmerich, out in the fall of  2011.

Although I spoke to him in an exclusive phone interview for Collider to promote the release of Legend of the Guardians, Orloff also talked in-depth about Anonymous and the approach in making it, as he is also an executive producer on that film. Because there was so much detail on what sounds like a very intricate, multi-layered story, I decided to split the interview in two, starting with what he had to say about Anonymous. Check out what he had to say about that film after the jump, and then check back later this week to read about how he got involved with Legend of the Guardians.

Where did the idea for Anonymous come from and what is that film about?

JOHN ORLOFF: That script was actually the first script that I wrote, about 15 years ago. I became interested in the Shakespeare authorship issue in college, in regard to who wrote the plays. I had no idea there was a Shakespeare authorship issue at all, and the more that I became totally fascinated by it and the more research I did, the more I went, “Wow, this is an amazingly complicated world in Elizabethan England.” It’s never really been shown, how dark it was. It was really a totalitarian state. And, when you combine that with this incredible person, whoever he may have been, that’s a really interesting idea for a movie.

So, I just did tons and tons of research and eventually wrote a script. Unfortunately, my script was completed about two months before Shakespeare in Love came out, but it was my calling card. People would take meetings with me because they had read the script. I would have the meeting and they would go, “Oh, we love the script, but we’re never going to make this movie because there was just Shakespeare in Love.” So, I just put it in my desk and anytime I’d go to a meeting, I’d bring it up and I’d usually have the same response of, “Nobody’s going to make that movie.” And then, one day, about eight years ago, I was in Roland Emmerich’s office talking about a different movie and he asked me about other things that I was passionate about and what I had written, and I started to tell him the story of this movie. He was quite fascinated and he read the script, and he also became enamored and interested in the subject matter and did his own research. We did a lot of revisions on the script, and we finally made it a couple months ago.

Click Link To Read More …

http://www.collider.com/2010/09/22/anonymous-interview-john-orloff-screenwriter/

The Shakespeare authorship question isn’t settled — John Orloff Challenges Shapiro

It’s refreshing to see somebody taking on James Shapiro.  John Orloff, the screenwriter of “Anonymous,” does a commendable job of pointing out that Shapiro was extremely misleading (to say the least) in his description of the 1987 moot court involving three Supreme Court Justices.  If Shapiro can’t even be trusted to report accurately about what happened a mere 23 years ago, how can he be trusted to accurately report on events that occurred four centuries ago?  Here’s an excerpt from John Orloff’s opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times along with a link to the full article.  Three cheers for Orloff!   Matthew Cossolotto

The Shakespeare authorship question isn’t settled

And even if Shakespeare didn’t write all of the sonnets and plays attributed to him, the works’ centuries-old legacies would remain intact.

April 19, 2010|By John Orloff
As the screenwriter of “Anonymous,” the Roland Emmerich film about the Shakespeare authorship question now in production, I read with great interest James Shapiro’s April 11 Times Op-Ed article, “Alas, poor Shakespeare.”

I was particularly fascinated by Shapiro’s claim that U.S. Supreme Court Justices William J. Brennan Jr., Harry Blackmun and John Paul Stevens ruled “unanimously for Shakespeare and against the Earl of Oxford” in a 1987 moot court case.

Shapiro has, at best, oversimplified the facts.

In fact, Brennan, the senior justice on the case, did not rule on whether Shakespeare actually wrote the plays; he simply ruled that the Earl of Oxford did not meet the burden of proof required under the law.

Blackmun agreed, but then added, “That’s the legal answer. Whether it is the correct one causes me greater doubt” (emphasis mine).

Stevens went even further, saying: “I have lingering concerns. . . . You can’t help but have these gnawing doubts that this great author may perhaps have been someone else. . . . I would tend to draw the inference that the author of these plays was a nobleman. . . . There is a high probability that it was Edward de Vere [the Earl of Oxford].”

I would hardly characterize these as opinions “unanimously for Shakespeare and against the Earl of Oxford.”

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/19/opinion/la-oew-orloff19-2010apr19