Kenneth Branagh casts doubt on Shakespeare

Kenneth BranaghLondon, May 03 : Kenneth Branagh, who has been Oscar nominated three times for his work on Shakespearian films, has cast doubt on true identity of the author of the plays to which the star has devoted his career.

While speaking at the US premiere of his BAFTA-winning Swedish detective series, Wallander, Branagh confessed that he is beginning to be influenced by the theory that the true author was not William Shakespeare but the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere.

"There is room for reasonable doubt. De Vere is the latest and the hottest candidate," the Daily Express quoted Branagh as saying.

"There is a convincing argument that only a nobleman like him could write of exotic settings and that William Shakespeare was a simple country boy.

"I'm fascinated by all the speculation.

"If someone could find conclusive proof that Shakespeare wasn't the author of the plays then it would cause a seismic shock - not least to the economy of Stratford-upon-Avon," he added. (ANI)