You’d think that with The Avengers on his plate Joss Whedon would have enough to do to fill his time. However, he’s apparently not content with just the superheroes, as he’s also found time to shoot a new version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, filled with actors he’s worked with on his TV shows and films.
Hints about the movie were first tweeted over the weekend by the likes of Firefly actors Nathan Fillion and Sean Maher, along with links to a website – muchadomovie.com. However at the time nobody was certain exactly what it was, with some speculating it was a web series (like Whedon’s Dr. Horrible), other saying it was some sort of joke and still more betting it was a real movie, even though they weren’t sure how Whedon would have had time to make it, or if he did, how he kept a secret.
However, now Bellwether Pictures – a micro-studio Whedon has set up to produce ‘small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies’ – has revealed more info. Apparently the new take on Shakespeare’s classic was filmed in just 12 days on location in Santa Monica. the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all 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.
Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter (Paper Heart, Dollhouse), the film stars Amy Acker (The Cabin in the Woods, Alias) and Alexis Denisof (How I Met Your Mother, Angel) as Beatrice and Benedick, the world’s least likely lovers headed for their inevitable tumble into love. As Joss Whedon puts it: “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.” The supporting cast includes Nathan Fillion (Castle, Waitress) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (The Avengers, Iron Man) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods, Dollhouse) as Claudio and Reed Diamond (Franklin & Bash, Moneyball) as Don Pedro. The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit.
It’ll be interesting to see what Whedon’s managed to come up with.
General movie news courtesy of Movie Muser