Queen Catherine Parr (Alicia Vikander) walks with her ladies in waiting in 'Firebrand'.
(Roadside Attractions)

Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s Sixth and Final Wife, Takes Center Stage in ‘Firebrand’

Audiences remain captivated by the Tudor era, the reign of King Henry VIII of England, and the stories of his six wives. And while Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon are the best-known wives, a new film focuses on Henry’s sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr.

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Firebrand, directed by Karim Aïnouz (The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão), follows the marriage of Katherine Parr (Alicia Vikander) to King Henry VIII (Jude Law). As the sixth wife of the tempestuous king, Katherine knows that her position is precarious, as previous wives have been divorced, exiled, and beheaded. Firebrand premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and is based on Queen’s Gambit: A Novel of Katherine Parr by Elizabeth Fremantle.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, you can check it out below.

Who stars in Firebrand?

Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Tomb Raider) plays Katherine Parr opposite Jude Law (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Captain Marvel) as King Henry VIII. Other cast members include Eddie Marsan (Back to Black), Ruby Bentall (The Serpent Queen), Bryony Hannah (Call the Midwife), Sam Riley (Maleficent), Amr Waked (Ramy), and Simon Russell Beale (Dunkirk).

What’s the film about?

Firebrand‘s description reads:

“In blood-soaked Tudor England, twice married, accomplished, and educated Katherine Parr (Vikander), reluctantly agrees to become the sixth wife of the tyrannical King Henry VIII (Law). Her consent to marry him carries great personal risk, given that her predecessors are either vanquished, beheaded, or dead. When Henry appoints her as Regent, the nation’s ruler during his absence when he departs to fight overseas, he lays a dangerous path for her. Henry’s courtiers, suspecting she’s sympathetic to radical Protestant beliefs that have taken root in the kingdom and are a threat to their power, scheme against her and cast doubts upon her fidelity to the increasingly ailing and paranoid King. Once Henry returns to England, his courtiers convince him to turn his fury on the nation’s radicals, including Katherine’s childhood friend Anne Askew, who becomes one of the scores of people convicted of treason and burned at the stake. Horrified and privately grieving, Katherine finds herself under ever-increasing scrutiny and suspicion. Knowing that even a whisper of scandal might lead to her downfall, Katherine must unleash her own scheme to fight for survival.”

When can I watch it?

Firebrand hits theaters on June 14, 2024.

(featured image: Larry Horricks/Roadside Attractions)


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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.