Cymbeline may not be the most famous of Shakespeare’s tales, but decided it was good enough to do what he did with Hamlet back in 2000, and given it a modern day retelling.
As with Hamlet, he’s brought Ethan Hawke onboard to star, with Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin also starring.
Cymbeline tells the tale as an epic battle between dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang set in a corruption-riddled 21st century America. King Cymbeline, leader of the Briton Motorcycle Club, clashes with the corrupt Roman Police while his radiant but disobedient daughter Imogen fends off assaults on her honor and her life. Cymbeline’s wife and her son aspire to take over the king’s empire, and Imogen’s marriage to Posthumus is undermined by sinister interference from Iachimo, a malevolent stranger. Shakespeare’s timeless themes are love and betrayal, revenge and forgiveness, death and renewal.
In the original play Imogen dresses as a boy and leaves to go and find her exiled lover, but whether the new film will feature any cross-dressing is yet to be seen. Cymbeline premieres imminently at Venice, with a cinema release expected next year.