I’m a little surprised that William Shakespeare hasn’t been a big subject for biopics. Sure, his works have been filmed endlessly since the dawn of movies and TV, in countless adaptions and variations. Maybe folks felt that his prose spoke for itself onscreen? There are plenty of books about the Bard’s life, and in recent years, lots of documentaries on TV dissecting his motives, meanings, and life story. It’s just that he doesn’t seem to show up as his own character very often, or at least not much until the past couple decades. Well, let’s compare these few Wills anyway.
John Williams in The Twilight Zone, “The Bard” (1963)
Joseph Fiennes in Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Colin Firth in Blackadder: Back & Forth (1999)
Rupert Graves in A Waste of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets (2005)
Dean Lennox Kelly in Doctor Who, “The Shakespeare Code” (2007)
Will Kemp in Miguel y William (2007)
Rafe Spall in Anonymous (2011)
Mathew Baynton in Bill (2015)
Laurie Davidson in Will (2017)
David Mitchell in Upstart Crow (2016-)
Kenneth Branagh in All Is True (2019)
Reece Shearsmith in Good Omens (2019)
Who’s your favorite on-screen version of the Bard?