What do you do when you are bored during downtime while working on The Avengers post-production? Start writing your next film! That’s exactly what Joss Whedon was doing while wrapping up his hit movie. It turns out he’s a big Shakespeare fan. As such, he created a modernized Much Ado about Nothing, which premiered at last month’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
If you’re like me, you’re wondering why you should bother suffering through yet another Shakespeare remake (I know I’m an anomaly — a writer who avoids Shakespeare). Whedon’s movie version uses the play’s original language, but adds a film noir feel with black and white film — think Don Pedro as a gangster. That’s not all. Whedon, who believes Shakespeare would probably enjoy the modern superhero genre, set Much Ado in the modern world. It’s Shakespeare meets Sony, as characters do such mundane modern tasks as loading videos on their smartphones, but with a noir feel and Shakespearean vocabulary.
The film was shot in just 12 days at Whedon’s Los Angeles home, but reportedly does not have a homegrown low-budget feel. And, though the movie was cast all in family and friends, it is still star-studded with Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, and Sean Maher.
Admittedly, this sounds pretty great (even if it is Shakespeare). From the reviews I’ve read, Whedon has brought new life to an old play in a way that hasn’t been done before, which is a real testament to his creativity and film-making prowess. It’s no surprise Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions purchased the North American release rights as soon as they saw it at TIFF.
There are only eight reviews posted to Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing, but so far, Much Ado About Nothing is being praised by most critics as a success and has a rating of 88%. The film’s release date has not been announced yet, and the trailer has not been released; we’ll update this post when that information becomes available. For now, you can check out one still from the film below and in this YouTube video to get a sense of its look.
Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker in Much Ado About Nothing (Image courtesy of Much Ado About Nothing contact)
Let us know in the discussion whether you’re excited to see Whedon’s take on Much Ado About Nothing.
Thanks to Selena Frye for the tip about Much Ado showing at the TIFF.