Joss Whedon's secret Shakespeare film adaptation
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
Random surprise Shakespeare delivery!
A new site, Much Ado: The Movie, has popped up online, announcing that: “Bellwether Pictures is proud to announce the completion of principal photography” on “Much Ado About Nothing: A film by Joss Whedon, based on a play”. Presumably it’s based on the play by William Shakespeare, rather than one that just happens to be called Much Ado About Nothing…
The cast list includes the Whedon alums Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse, the upcoming The Cabin in the Woods), Alexis Denisof (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse), Reed Diamond (Dollhouse), Sean Maher (Firefly), Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Clark Gregg (The Avengers), Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, the upcoming The Cabin in the Woods), and Tom Lenk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the upcoming The Cabin in the Woods).
It also lists the following newcomers to the Whedonverse: Ashley Johnson, Jillian Morgese, Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher (YouTube's BriTANick, who Joss Whedon has raved about before), Paul M. Meston, Emma Bates, Romy Rosemont, Spencer Treat Clark, Riki Lindholme (from Garfunkel and Oates), and Joshua Zar.
Whedonesque has coverage of the news about the project, and many of the cast have tweeted about it, with Nathan Fillion, for instance, confirming it with: “Oh, it’s real. Very. Very. Real. muchadothemovie.com”.
Joss Whedon's frequent collaborator Shawna Trpcic has proved a relative goldmine of information, tweeting that she returned as costume designer on this project, that Nathan Fillion plays Dogberry, that it includes "hey nonny nonny by maurissa and jed", and that it will be "Film ish not sure what format he will release it", before saying that "I think it will b a film".
This won't be the first time that Much Ado About Nothing has had geek crossover appeal, as Doctor Who's David Tennant and Catherine Tate reunited in a production of the play this summer.
Interestingly, as regards the name of the production company, Whedonesque’s Sunfire noted “bellwether: one that serves as a leader or as a leading indicator of future trends. I think that’s fairly important.”
Could this mean that Joss Whedon is planning to film further Shakespeare adaptations? He holds Shakespeare readings at his house for his actor friends as an ongoing thing, which was almost certainly the genesis of this project, so would be far from surprising.
In an era where every possible detail about an upcoming film is typically reported on, often from the moment that the very possibility of the project is mentioned, it’s refreshing for one to sneak under the radar like this. In fact, they probably could have even waited until the film were released, and then announced “Random surprise Shakespeare delivery!” Except this way, there’s time to build awareness of the project; not that it really needs it for geeks, since the internet’s already going crazy. But hopefully, as with The Avengers, it’ll be a big enough deal that many non-Whedonites will discover it, love it, check out Joss Whedon’s previous work, and then become crazy raving fanboys like the rest of us.
Aside from the question of why Joss Whedon is bothering to adapt inferior writers (hee hee), what kind of adaptation will this be? From the promo image of Fran Kranz in a snorkelling costume holding a martini, probably an unconventional one. Hopefully he plays a cyborg wrestling with questions of humanity, or something. Or maybe just questions of how to drink a martini in a snorkel suit.
While Joss has a great deal of respect for Shakespeare, he also puts a fresh, quirky take on any project he does. So hopefully this’ll be a sci-fi musical superhero take on the play, or something equally as crazyawesome. And it may be comedy, but there will probably also be many unexpected and heart-rending character deaths added.
Along with The Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers coming next year, and the recent announcement that Wastelanders will be Joss Whedon’s next project after The Avengers, all us Whedonites need now is for him to promise that Doctor Horrible 2 will immediately follow that, and we can die happy. But, you know, not until after we’ve watched them all. And then he’ll no doubt announce something else equally awesome, so we’ll have to put the dying plans on hold.
Everyone's a hero in their own way, you, and you, and mostly Joss Whedon, and you...
Update: The official (and somewhat amusing) press release can be found here.
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