What does the director of one of the biggest box office action films of all-time do for a follow up?
A low budget, black and white, independent film production of William Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing…of course.
Writer/Director Joss Whedon decompressed from filming the Marvel comics action film The Avengers by doing this small, passion project. The film is an updated version of the classic play. But it uses William Shakespeare’s original dialogue.
I’m all for more cinematic versions of William Shakespeare’s work. Especially when artists think up creative ways to update the play for modern audiences. Based on this trailer, this production looks like a charming, breezy effort by Joss Whedon. I’m interested however, to see how the film will perform. Joss Whedon’s typical audience usually isn’t the Shakespeare set. The film also doesn’t feature a major motion picture movie star in it’s cast. Another challenge for the production is that Shakespeare fans may have the pleasing memory of Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 hit film still in there noggin’s. That successful version featured an all-star cast and used a traditional period production.
But I commend Joss Whedon for stretching his artistic wings a bit. Obviously, he has the clout to do anything he wants right now and this is something that is clearly close to his heart. It also shows a willingness by Whedon to move away from the fan boy crowd and more towards a literary, adult audience.
Much Ado About Nothing stars Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz and Nathan Fillion. The screenplay is by Joss Whedon based on the play by William Shakespeare. Much Ado About Nothing is scheduled for release June 7th, 2013.
Leonato, the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John. Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick and Claudio. While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato’s daughter Hero, while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice, the governor’s niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies: Conrade and Borachio, plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins.
A series of comic and tragic events continue to keep the two couples from truly finding happiness, but then again perhaps love may prevail.