As a huge fan of Shakespeare, I’m always ready for another adaptation of any of his plays, but what makes this upcoming adaptation of Cymbeline particularly fascinating for me is that it’s based on one of the plays I haven’t read or seen any adaptation of. So, for me, this is “new material” (despite it being over 400 years old). The thing is, it will probably be new for most people as well given that this is one of Shakespeare’s plays that doesn’t get a lot of attention (i.e. it’s not performed all that much), making a film adaptation a rather splendid idea.
What we already know of the project is that it reteams Ethan Hawke with director Michael Almereyda, who previous collaborated on a modernized take on Hamlet, and that Ed Harris has also signed on to play King Cymbeline. Today, via Cinema Blend, we have word that Milla Jovovich has joined the cast and is said to be playing the Queen.
Before we go any further, here’s a brief synopsis of the play itself:
The original play told the story of Imogen, a princess whose father doesn’t approve of the man she has chosen to love. When the lover is banished and sent to fight in a war, Imogen dresses as a boy and leaves to go find him.
However, this new version changes things up a bit, turning the tale into a modern day story of dirty cops and biker gangs in the vein of Sons of Anarchy and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.
As for Jovovich’s involvement, I don’t think I have to tell you how bad an idea this is. It would be interesting to know what possessed Almereyda and made him think that casting such a terrible actress in a Shakespeare film would work. Did he miss all of those Resident Evil films, The Three Musketeers, and everything else she was ever in? As I mentioned, I’m a big fan of Shakespeare, so this is more than a little distressing. For now, I guess we’ll just have to hope that the Queen (or whatever the role turns into when it gets modernized) is a very small one.
Anyway, I’m still very excited for the film. I enjoyed Almereyda and Hawke’s take on Hamlet for the most part. It had a few problems (Hamlet was too much of an emo, the ending was extremely rushed, etc.), but it also had great parts to it, such as Bill Murray playing Polonius. I can’t wait to see how their adaptation of Cymbeline turns out.
Cameras start rolling on August 19th in New York City with a presumed release date of sometime next year.
What do you think of this casting? Is it a huge mistake or do you think she might actually be able to handle it? Let us know in the comments!