Trailer watch: ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ promises an epic period drama

The only surviving legitimate heir that James V had when he was King of Scotland was Mary Stuart, known better to us as Mary, Queen of Scots. She was made a regent as an infant, married in France at 17, widowed at 18, back in Scotland at 19 as Queen, married again, and widowed a second time at 26.

Mary’s life was spent trying to prove that Scotland deserved its own monarchy, and should not be subsumed by the Tudors in England, even though her grandmother was a Tudor. When her second husband was found murdered, Mary fled to her cousin Elizabeth I in England, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. This was of no use as Elizabeth had her imprisoned in several castles across Enland and eventually executed as she suspected, rightly, that Mary was plotting to assassinate her.

And now, this sprawling story from the Middle Ages will be made into a movie again, this time starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie as Mary and Elizabeth respectively. Earlier adaptations of the succession story met with lukewarm response, but this version has everything that audience hopes for in a period drama — stiff-necked collars, stiffer upper lips, painted-on faces, big hair, and so much verbal sparring.

The trailer for Mary Queen of Scots shows Saiorse Ronan getting her ducks in order as Queen of Scotland (and England, she claims), while Elizabeth fumes about her cousin’s rise to power. There is an interesting scene where the two queens meet, even though they never met in real life, and have a conversation where they trade insults as easily as best friends would.

Mary Queen of Scots also stars Jack Lowden, Joe Alwyn, Martin Compston, Brendan Coyle, David Tennant and Guy Pearce. The movie is directed by first-timer Josie Rourke, and is scheduled for a December 2018-January 2019 release.

Watch the trailer here:


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