Whedon Wraps Mystery Project – But What Is It? -UPDATED

Shelly Horwitz writes for Bleeding Cool

UPDATE: Read the right way through to the end for many more details.

Nathan Fillion has tweeted a link– and confirmed via tweet that it’s real– to muchadothemovie.com.  Apparently, Joss Whedon has made a film based on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  Or at least a film based on a play and then named after Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Notice the reference to “a play”, not “the play” on this promo image.

The stars are Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (presumably as Beatrice and Benedict) and includes such Whedon stalwarts as Sean Maher, Nathan Fillion, and Tom Lenk.  The full cast is:

  • Amy Acker
  • Alexis Denisof
  • Reed Diamond
  • Sean Maher
  • Ashley Johnson
  • Brian McElhaney
  • Nathan Fillion
  • Jillian Morgese
  • Nick Rocher
  • Paul M. Meston
  • Clark Gregg
  • Alexis Denisof
  • Emma Bates
  • Tom Lenk
  • Romy Rosemont
  • Fran Kranz
  • Spencer Treat Clark
  • Riki Lindhome
  • Joshua Zar

While it’s sort of surprising that Whedon has managed to complete principal photography on another movie while working on The Avengers, it makes complete sense that he’s doing Shakespeare.  He’s been a huge Shakespeare fan since high school, according to interviews, and what I remember of the Buffy special features.

Assuming that it’ll actually come out (because all of his movies are in theaters after a reasonable period of time), I’m really looking forward to this.  Admittedly, I’m a huge Shakespeare nerd.  The only thing I’m worried about is that Much Ado is technically a comedy, so the couples get married at the end – but this is Whedon directing, so there’s at least a 50% chance that in his version, Beatrice will die as soon as the vows are said.  Probably hit with a mysterious piece of shrapnel or something.

UPDATE: Clicking on the image on the official site leads to a press release that answers all of our questions:

Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr.
Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). 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.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.

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.

The film was produced by Whedon, line-produced by Nathan Kelly and M. Elizabeth Hughes, and co-produced by Kai Cole and Danny Kaminsky. The super-impressive cast is listed below. Full tech credits (for the extraordinary crew) will be up shortly. The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.

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