Book, Movie Spur Shakespeare Debate Why the 'battle of the bard' keeps going By Emily Rauhala, Newser User Posted Apr 2, 2010 6:07 AM CDT 5 comments Comments A newly discovered portrait of William Shakespeare, presented by the Shakespeare Birthplace trust, is seen in central London, Monday March 9, 2009. The portrait, believed to be almost the only authentic... (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) (Newser) – An upcoming film by action picture director Roland Emmerich claims the Earl of Oxford secretly wrote Shakespeare's plays. Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, meanwhile, has written a book defending the bard. He tells the Wall Street Journal why the debate is hotter than ever: "It may have something to do with what it means to live in a culture saturated by memoir and shaped by an Internet in which conspiracy theory really thrives." "There's money in Shakespeare biography…I should know, I've written one." Any time Roland Emmerich does something, it's big. It's not a traditional disaster movie except insofar as it will be a disaster for those of us who teach Shakespeare." "In the great game of rock-paper-scissors, movie beats book." Read the interview here.