When faced with the daunting task of having to deliver the biggest superhero movie the world has ever seen, the culmination of nearly 5 years’ worth of blood, sweat and highly caffeinated energy drinks and the make or break moment of a movie studio’s future plans, most people would simply crawl into the fetal position and softly whimper until their mommy came to collect them.
Joss Whedon clearly isn’t most people. Evidently finding that writing and directing The Avengers to not be a big enough challenger, Whedon decided to call up all his best acting buddies, invite them over to his house and make a whole other movie at the same time. That movie was the modern Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, and now we get our first trailer for this extra-curricular activity.
“Much Ado About Nothing” is a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon.
Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic 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 (“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 (“Avengers,” “Iron Man”) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (“Cabin in the Woods,” “Dollhouse”) as Claudio and Reed Diamond (“Franklin & Bash,” “Moneyball”) as Don Pedro.
While my Shakespeare is not as good as it used to be, I don’t need to know my iambic pentameters from my double entendres to know a great cast in a well shot movie when I see one. This will definitely not appeal to everyone, especially to those of you who have just recently joined us on the Whedon bandwagon and have only just experienced his Hulk smash side. But for the more adventurous viewer, this looks like a slick, well put together, modern interpretation of the Bard’s work, which should play right into Whedon’s pinpoint comic timing and strong characterization.
And if Nathan Fillion were to suddenly turn into rage monster and punch the house into oblivion, well that certainly wouldn’t be frowned upon either.
Last Updated: March 8, 2013