Joss Whedon's Shakespeare Project Confirmed

     It's true. The man who has been hard at work helming THE AVENGERS for Marvel has also been in the process of adapting Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING as an independent film, leaving us to wonder whether or not Whedon is actually human.

     The Wrap has confirmed with two sources close to the project that Whedon - who adapted, cast, and directed the film - recently wrapped principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

     What is notable about the production is that, besides the fact that Whedon took it on in conjunction with his AVENGERS duties, just about no one knew about it aside from those involved - that is, until it was publicly announced on Sunday.

     Around that time, a website appeared listing information about the film, along with its principal cast members: Whedonverse alumni Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Fran Kranz, and a host of others.

     Here is more from an official press release:

Santa Monica, CA (October 24th, 2011)

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.



[via The Wrap]

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