Los Angeles Times

How historian John Guy and Beau Willimon of 'House of Cards' read between the lines of history to rewrite 'Mary Queen of Scots' legacy

For centuries, history had not been kind to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots - a mistreatment that director Josie Rourke aimed to correct with her revisionist 16th century drama "Mary Queen of Scots."

Vilified by the enemies who orchestrated her downfall and beheaded for treason at the age of 44, Mary's legacy had been written by those who schemed against her, some modern-day historians argued.

Also greatly misunderstood and overlooked, according to Rourke's debut film, were the intertwined sympathies of the headstrong Mary (Saoirse Ronan) and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), lone female rulers in a turbulent era rife with murder, betrayal and conspiracies galore.

At the helm of the Working Title and Focus Features production, which is steadily expanding across the country after a strong debut in four theaters over the first weekend of December, British stage veteran Rourke tapped a key collaborator to help rewrite Mary and Elizabeth's history for the screen: former

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