Project Description

Will is a bestselling novel based on the life of Shakespeare by acclaimed Scottish writer Christopher Rush. FOS optioned the novel in 2017 and plans to begin production in 2019.

The novel opens with William Shakespeare on his deathbed, summoning his lawyer Francis Collins to his bedside in order to make some final amendments to his will. As he goes through the provisions of his will, Shakespeare reveals the stories of his life which both explain the elements of his will and reveal the inspirations behind his work. This therefore is a fiction which draws on Rush’s prodigious knowledge of the life and work of Shakespeare and presents to us the man behind the plays and sonnets. No other writer has attempted this.

Other successful Shakespeare films have portrayed different aspects of the playwright’s life – Will is the first film to show him talking about his life in the first person, with flashbacks to all the major incidents and loves of his life which contributed to the writing of his plays.

Shakespeare in Love took almost $300 million worldwide and Shakespeare remains the most famous name in the world in terms of theatre and the public interest in his life – Who was his Dark Lady? Why did he give only his “second bed” to his wife in his will? Did he have collaborators in his writing, or was it him alone? – shows no sign of slowing down around the world.

FOS is delighted to have signed a contract with legendary producer Stephen Evans to act as producer on the film. Stephen needs little introduction as one of Britain’s great producers, from his work with Kenneth Branagh on Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing to The Madness of King George and Peter’s Friends.

Stephen is working with the FOS team on the appointment of the scriptwriter, director and initial cast, with news on all three to come soon.

Praise for Christopher Rush’s novel:


This fictional autobiography does more than elegize… it conveys period atmosphere with deftness… linguistically witting and imaginative, as any attempt to ventriloquize Shakespeare must be – Anthony Burgess is the only other novelist to pass this test.

Times Literary Supplement

An absolute gem of its kind… the author paints a spectacular portrait of London life… a must for A-Level students or undergraduates looking for that much-needed shortcut to higher grades [it] is undoubtedly a stunning achievement that puts most biographies in the shade and deserves to win awards.

British Theatre Guide

‘This spectacular novel… evokes the Bard and his landscape with mystery and utter confidence.  The most amazing, literate and entertaining novel I’ve read in years.

Sir Ben Kingsley

Such a raging poetry and fluency that it seems set to eclipse all other semi-fictional accounts…startling…frighteningly vivid…unforgettable…deep, wise, brilliant, courageous and beautiful

Scottish Review of Books

This is a fleshy novel indeed, gorgeous, garrulous and gross…Rush stitches the story together with great colour brilliant and evocative

Independent on Sunday

Courageous…a great book for lovers of Shakespeare

The Mail on Sunday

Startlingly poetic… an excellent addition to the canon of Shakespeare novels

The Spectator

Described with lurid intensity

The Independent

We get to see the real Shakespeare – angry, emotional, honest, reflective, joyous and despairing

Kingdom Magazine