Whedon Does The Bard

Though Joss Whedon is arguably better known for his writing than his directing – The Avengers aside, Buffy the Vampire Slayer inspired a generation of teen-speak -, we at AP2HYC are pretty thrilled about his soon-to-be-released adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Writer, director, and producer Joss Whedon hits the big screen again with this inventive, modern-day version of one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) have just returned home to Messina after a successful campaign abroad. When earnest Claudio announces his adoration for the lovely Hero (Jillian Morgese), daughter of Messina’s governor Leonato (Clark Gregg), the acid-tongued Benedick teases him mercilessly.

Benedick’s scorn for love is matched by that of his long-time nemesis and verbal sparring partner Beatrice (Amy Acker), Leonato’s niece. As the lovestruck Claudio and Hero make plans to marry, Benedick and Beatrice resume the “merry war” of insults they have long waged. Yet there are many who believe that for all their antagonism – or even because of it – this pair of incessantly sniping cynics is surely meant to be a couple. As matchmaking schemes are put into play and disguises are donned, loathing and love soon prove to be close cousins.

Shot in the director’s own house in jazzy black and white over a period of 12 days, it features, as the above synopsis suggests, a cast of Whedon alumni, including Captain Malcolm Reynolds himself, Nathan Fillion, as malapropian amateur policeman Dogberry. It’s is clearly a passion project for Whedon, who described the play as “a very cynically romantic text about love—how we behave in love and how much we’re manipulated” and his adaptation of it as “the sexiest thing I’ve ever done, and that includes having sex.”

With a current 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a release date secured for June 7th, not to mention this level of talent behind it, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing sounds like a romcom we can get behind.

So, with a hey, nonny, nonny, here’s the first trailer:

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Robert Wallis

You can also read Rob's work at www.ofallthefilmblogs.blogspot.com.