By now, most people know the name of Joss Whedon, whether it’s from his days working in TV with shows like Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel, or from his recent work on film projects like The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods. You may have noticed that he tends to work in a similar genre most of the time, so who would have thought that he would go and secretly film an adaptation of a William Shakespeare play?
However, that’s just what the man did, and now we have the first images from his upcoming adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing to give us an idea of what it looks like. Filming it in just 12 days on a micro-budget, the film was shot in black and white.
It has been said that this was a passion project for Whedon, who had this to say:
[It’s a] love letter, to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in. All [involved are] dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.
The cast includes many people who have worked with Whedon previously such as Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, and Sean Maher, so Whedon fans should be right at home.
The main version of the play that I’m familiar with is Kenneth Branagh’s splendid 1993 adaptation that starred the director/actor along with Emma Thompson, and Kate Beckinsale. While that’s a fantastic version, I’m very interested to see how Whedon would handle Shakespeare, not only because we haven’t seen anything like this from him before, but also because of his claims of it being a passion project, so he must have been putting a lot of thought into it for some time.
Then again, I’m a huge Shakespeare fan, so I’d be seeing it no matter who was behind it. The fact that it’s Joss Whedon just makes it all the more interesting.
For those of you unfamiliar with the play, it tells the story of Hero and Claudio, young lovers soon to wed, who conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to wed as well.
It should be noted too that, as you can probably tell from the pictures, this will be a modern-day telling of the story. The film is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, but an actual release date has not yet been set.
Check out the images in the gallery below and let us know what you think in the comments.
(Source: The Film Stage)