Calling all period drama girlies, there's a new film about the only wife to survive King Henry VIII.

If you're always comfort-watching Pride & Prejudice and can't get enough of Reign, then you need to know about new Tudor film Firebrand, starring Jude Law as King Henry VIII and Alicia Vikander as his sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr.

The film, which is based on the historical novel Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Freemantle, largely follows true events of the 16th century

Firebrand covers the survival story of Katherine Parr after she married a man who had already divorced or beheaded five wives, following along as she navigates the treacherous world of being a royal wife.

First debuting in Cannes in 2023, the film finally has a trailer, and is set to be released in mid-2024. Here's everything you need to know about it. 

What is the plot of Firebrand?

Firebrand. Image: Roadside Attractions


In a kingdom of treason and bloodshed, Katherine catches the King's eye while serving as a lady for his daughter, Princess Mary.

Soon after Katherine joins the household, King Henry VIII proposes and she, somewhat reluctantly, agrees to become his queen. Knowing how things ended for the five royal wives before her, Parr navigates her newfound station... carefully. 

While Henry is on a military campaign in France, Katherine is named the regent, who would rule if anything were to happen to him. But the key court players cast doubts in the King's mind about his lady in order to unseat her religious authority (she was born a Catholic but turned staunch Protestant) and grasp at their own.

Facing scrutiny and the murder of someone close to her, Katherine is forced to deal with a mounting wave of scandal, knowing it could be her head on the literal chopping block. A smart woman, she creates her own scheme to ensure survival.

What really happened to Katherine Parr? 

Firebrand. Image: Roadside Attractions.


As the movie shows, Katherine worked in Princess Mary's household and was known for being an attractive and intelligent young woman. At 30, she was slightly more mature than some of Henry VIII's other wives, and was seen as a sensible choice for an ageing king.

The year was 1543, and Katherine had already been married (and widowed) twice. She was falling for another courtier, Thomas Seymour, but gave him up to marry the King, which she felt was her duty or 'God's will'.

She married the king on July 12, 1543 at Hampton Court Palace. Katherine wrote and published her own books while in office and fostered unity between the royal children — Catholic Princess Mary, and Protestant Princess Elizabeth and Prince Edward. 

Firebrand. Image: Roadside Attractions.


Katherine became a radical Protestant throughout her life, which did get her into strife with King Henry VIII and his courtiers. Religious opponents nearly led to her downfall, with them having an arrest warrant drawn up and turning the King against her.

However, finding out about their plot before it could come to fruition, Katherine spoke directly with the King, begged for his mercy and reconciliation, and was spared.

King Henry VIII died three-and-a-half years after their marriage, aged 55, due to serious illness. From there, Katherine did end up marrying Thomas Seymour and eventually became pregnant with his child. However, after delivering the baby she contracted an illness and died on September 5, 1548.

Who is the cast of Firebrand

Firebrand. Image: Roadside Attractions.


The cast of Firebrand includes: 

  • Alicia Vikander as Katherine Parr

  • Jude Law as Henry VIII

  • Edward Marsan as Edward Seymour

  • Sam Riley as Thomas Seymour

  • Patsy Ferran as Princess Mary

  • Amr Waked as Dr. Mulay Al-Farabi

  • Junia Rees as Princess Elizabeth

  • Erin Doherty as Anne Askew

  • Anna Mawn as Agnes Howard

  • Ruby Bentall as Cat

  • Bryony Hannah as Ellen

Watch the official trailer for Firebrand. Post continues below.

Video via Roadside Attractions.

When is the release date for Firebrand

Produced by Roadside Attractions, the debut of Firebrand in the US will be June 14, 2024. 

There's no confirmation of an Australian release date at this stage.

Feature Image: Roadside Attractions.

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