The challenge for TNT’s Will is to “use the 16th century and the characters of the 16th century to tell a story about our contemporary lives,” says Shekhar Kapur, executive producer and director, in a featurette about the new series.
The spot provides an extended look at how the show tackles religion, politics, public engagement and powerful women in its depiction of a sexy, rebellious William Shakespeare—“the most famous person in the world that nobody knows anything about.”
The series stars newcomer Laurie Davidson as young Will, who leaves his wife and kids to travel to “big, bad London” as he’s just starting to discover his talent with words, and tries to make it in the “punk rock world of Elizabethan theater.”
Olivia DeJonge stars as his love interest Alice who “doesn’t fall into the stereotypical womanly role.”
“I do need you to be by my side when I make our theater great again,” she says to Will in the featurette.
The featurette explores Will’s role as a catholic living in a protestant reign; the passionate, prone-to-rioting audiences as professional theater emerges as a political public engagement tactic; the stage and costume design featuring fabric choices and embellishments to “give a more contemporary, high fashion, edgy look;” and Will’s relationship with his university educated rival, Christopher Marlowe, played by an equally sexy Jamie Campbell Bower—the Quentin Tarantino to Will’s Spielberg.
Will premiered July 10 and airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on TNT.