I love Shakespeare. I love Joss Whedon. Imagine how much I love the news that the muchly anticipated (by me at least) film version of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by Joss Whedon and starring some of my favorite people to ever grace my screen will be released in June of next year. (Hint: So. Damn. Much)
Add in that this is one of my favorite plays by Shakespeare and I think my anticipation level has propelled me to wish I could invent time travel. Or find a time traveling Doctor in a blue box, but that’s a totally different conversation.
This film was shot in 12 days at Whedon’s Santa Monica home in black and white and is a contemporary take on Shakespeare’s story of two pairs of lovers. Benedict and Beatrice are engaged in a “merry war”, using each other as verbal sparring partners as they trade barbs about love, marriage and each other. Claudius and Hero are their foils as young lovers who are so overwhelmed by love that they can barley bring themselves to express themselves. Add in a completely inept sheriff, a villain who has some bungling henchmen and a Prince and this story has everything it could possibly need!
This contemporary adaption features people that audiences may be familiar with from Whedon’s universe, including Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Clark Gregg and more. I am a fan of all these people, and by having them together being directed by a person whose catalogue of things I adore I cannot think of a thing that I would like to see more.
I think to a bigger point this is a thing that I love about how theatre, and specifically Shakespeare, can be adapted for and by people with different visions. In the past few years we have seen Shakespeare set in a stylized Miami (ROMEO AND JULIET), set in a high school (TAMING OF THE SHREW –“10 Things I Hate about You” and “O” for OTHELLO), a musical (LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST). While sometimes the argument is made that Shakespeare is not relevant for this modern day and age, I love that every year there is Shakespeare being adapted on stage and screen. I can’t wait to see what this next incarnation looks like!