If you haven’t heard about it already, certain parts of the internet are currently imploding over the announcement of Joss Whedon‘s latest project, a film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Not so unusual, except that it’s not something he’s developing – it’s already been filmed.
Sneaky bugger! The news broke after actor Nathan Fillion (who plays Dogberry in the film) posted a link to the film’s website, which includes a single still from the film, a list of cast members and a press release announcing it. Much Ado is a black & white micro-budget independent film created by Whedon at the behest of his wife Kai Cole, produced through their studio Bellwether and shot in Whedon’s own home. Described as a “passion project”, the film stars a number of actors from previous Whedon productions, and the director says that he made the film…
“…Surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture that far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks … 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 dear friends and colleagues include Amy Acker (as Beatrice), Sean Maher (as Don John) and Alexis Denisof (as Benedick).
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Joss Whedon explained a little about how and why he went about doing this.
Well, it’s not a bit secret that I’ve done these [Shakespeare] readings before, and I always had a vague notion of shooting Much Ado. But I didn’t really have a take on it. And then, for some reason, I kinda sorta did. As we were finishing The Avengers in New York, my wife and I were planning our vacation for our 20th anniversary. And she said, “Let’s not take the vacation. Make a movie instead.” I was like, “I’m not even sure if I can adapt the script, cast the movie, and prep it in a month.” And she was like, “Well, that’s your vacation time, so you do it.” And so I did.
With no plans yet for distribution, Whedon is presumably relying on the value of his name following the release of The Avengers, along with the Buffy, Angel and Firefly fandom, to propel the film into theatres.
We’re feeling our way on this one, just like Dr. Horrible. I do mean it to be in theaters. But we haven’t gotten any real plan except [going to] film festivals because it sounded like it would be festive.
The film has literally come out of nowhere, thanks to a combination of Whedon threatening the cast into secrecy and the ridiculously fast turnaround of the film, which was apparently shot in just 12 days.
You can read interviews with Joss Whedon, Sean Maher and Amy Acker here, and the first promo shots from the film are below.
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