Cannes: First Look at Jude Law as Henry VIII in ‘Firebrand’

We’ve seen Jude Law take on many looks over the years, starring in the Sherlock Holmes and Fantastic Beast franchises, along with everything from The Talented Mr. Ripley to The Young Pope. But audiences have never quite seen him like this.

As his new film Firebrand debuts at the Cannes Film Festival, Vanity Fair has the first look of Jude Law in his transformative role as Henry VIII in an exclusive image and video.

The competition film centers on King Henry VII’s sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr, played by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.  Law plays the increasingly ailing and paranoid King, who returns from fighting overseas to see that his Queen is attempting to transform the court based on her radical Protestant beliefs. Tensions rise between the pair, as seen in the short clip below.

Directed by Brazilian artist Karim AïnouzFirebrand is described as a reimagining of a period film, more closely resembling a psychological horror film or a political thriller. It is based on Elizabeth Fremantle’s novel The Queen’s Gambit, and centers on the ambitious Parr, the queen who survived. Law captures Henry at the end of his life, when his physical strength was waning and influencing his mental state in dark ways. It’s a visceral, menacing performance, along with a transformation we haven’t seen from Law before. 

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