I personally feel that Michelle Williams is one of the better actors currently going right now. I’m biased, however: I had a pal from my Texas days who absolutely adored a new series called Dawson’s Creek when it first premiered. Said friend was also an itinerant lush (but hey, so was everyone in my circle at that time…including me) who looked for any conceivable excuse to gather some friends, some booze (not necessarily in that order) and a suitable domicile with a functioning television set all in order to get rip-roaring smashed. In the year 1998, said “conceivable excuse” just happened to be Scream auteur Kevin Williamson’s riff off of My So Called Life, Dawson’s Creek. The alcohol and good times commenced to coincide with Dawson and his gang of ne’er-do-well friends every Tuesday evening and one of the few things that transcends the blur of those times for me – and that series – was the obvious talent of a young ingenuous named Michelle Williams, who brought both sultry charm and a sweet innocence to her character of Jen.
Before the biscuit and gravy days of Brokeback Mountain, Lucy, Shutter Island, Blue Valentine, The Station Agent, Manchester by the Sea and My Week with Marilyn, Michelle Williams was just another struggling actress hoping to get noticed; if not for Dawson’s Creek, then hopefully in a small batch of films she shot during off-season from the Creek such as Dick, But I’m a Cheerleader and the ill-advised sequel If These Walls Could Talk 2. Less studied by serious cineastes at the time was her turn in a genuinely decent horror flick called Halloween H20: 20 Years Later. Yep Michelle Williams, the Oscar nominated thespian with chops to spare, actually was prominently featured in a Halloween sequel, playing the gal pal of burgeoning young actor Josh Hartnett. Ms. Williams brief dalliance with Michael Myers and the Land of Horror was as short as it was memorable, and it let this former card-carrying member of Uncle Forry’ Famous Monsters of Filmland clamoring for more. Alas, big budget prestige feature films beckoned the lovely young siren, and it appeared her days of battling supernatural evil were indeed a thing of the past. ‘Til now, that is…
According to our Tom Savini-lovin’ Ghoulies over at the ominous and abandoned Hollywood Reporter comes the news this very fine day that Michelle Williams is making a long overdue return to the horror genre with the upcoming fright flick entitled Firebrand.
In Firebrand (which marks the English-language directorial debut of Karim Ainouz), Williams plays Katherine Parr, the final wife of Henry VIII who is having a decidedly not good day.
In a press release touting the new flick, Ainouz said that he “could not be more excited to be bringing the undiscovered story of Katherine Parr to the screen, a ferociously brilliant woman who I am inspired by deeply and has been largely invisible, or certainly under-represented in English history. Much is known about Henry VIII’s tyrannical reign, and those who perished and suffered at his hands, but my focus here is on a woman who not only managed to survive, but also, to thrive. This is a reimagining of a ‘period’ film, a psychological horror film set in the Tudor court; a story of intrigue, agency and survival. Having Michelle Williams portray this remarkable woman, an actress of immeasurable talent and passion, is a dream come true.”
Alright, so it’s not John Carpenter and The Shape, but dammit, it’s good to welcome Michelle Williams back into the horror film fold!