New Images & Details About Joss Whedon's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Published: October 25, 2011 - 5:24am
Yesterday's announcement that principal photography on the secret adaption of the Shakespearean comedy, which stars familiar faces Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg, is now followed by official stills and character information.
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”), 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. 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.
Entertainment Weekly has the scoop on the latest details regarding the project. Here are the highlights (compiled by SlashFilm.com) along with the three images from the film:
The film came out of Whedon’s famous Shakespeare readings, which he’s long hosted at his Santa Monica home with Hollywood friends playing the parts of various characters; Acker and Alexis Denisof, who play leads Beatrice and Benedick, had stepped into the roles during a previous reading.
Whedon did Much Ado while taking a break after wrapping The Avengers. The whole thing came together in just one month, including 12 days of shooting — all at Whedon’s own house. Though it was “a ton of work,” he calls the experience “the best vacation I’ve ever taken.” “I’ve never been so well rested and so well fed as I have on this movie,” he said.
Whedon sees the film, which is in black and white, as a “noir comedy”: “I got a very strong sense of how a little bit dark and twisted [Shakespeare's play] is.”
Though Much Ado has yet to find a distributor, Whedon definitely intends to release it in theaters — starting with the festival circuit in spring 2012.
Maher, who plays the villainous Don John, described the vibe of the film as “contemporary” and realistic. “The direction we were getting from Joss was to make it was real, especially with the language, not to be big and Shakespearian, but to bring it in and be intimate and bring it as close to a realistic way of speaking as we could,” he said.
Avengers actor Clark Gregg plays Leonato, father of Hero (one of the story’s other romantic leads). Buffy star Anthony Head was originally cast in the part, before “conflicts” prevented him from participating.
Fillion is apparently a terrible gossip. “I think it was mostly making sure Nathan didn’t tweet about it,” Acker said of keeping the project a secret. “That’s how all news in the world seems to spread.”