'Anonymous' shoot set for Germany

Director Roland Emmerich using Babelsberg for first time

COLOGNE, Germany – Director Roland Emmerich will shoot his next film, the William Shakespeare conspiracy drama "Anonymous" at Studio Babelsberg outside Berlin, with principal photography set to start next March.

The director, in Berlin promoting "2012," his latest end-of-the-world epic, confirmed rumors he would stay in Germany to shoot at Babelsberg for the first time.

"Anonymous" is a mystery based on the premise that Shakespeare was not the author of all his works. The project has been kicking around for a while. Emmerich had planned to shoot it in 2005 under the title "Soul of the Age," from a script by John Orloff ("Band of Brothers") with financing coming from the now-defunct German film fund VIP.

In its latest incarnation, "Anonymous" is being set up as a co-production with Studio Babelsberg Motion Pictures and will likely tap Germany's tax rebate scheme, the DFFF, as part of its financing.

Emmerich has said "2012" will be his last disaster movie and that "Anonymous" will mark a new, more serious stage in his directing career. The German filmmaker made the same pledge after the environmental catastrophe epic "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004) but returned for one last crack at the apocalypse with "2012".

"2012," starring John Cusack, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton, hits theaters worldwide this November.