At first, nobody quite knew what to make of the news that Joss Whedon and a bunch of his regular cast members have secretly filmed an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Some sites even speculated that it was a trick, and he’d really made another movie like a sequel to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, but no, it’s true: Joss Whedon has made a Shakespeare film set in modern times, shot in 12 days, and filmed in black and white. Here’s the scroop, courtesy of Filmdrunk:
Joss Whedon has directed, adapted, cast and filmed an entire movie — an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” — in secret.
Whedon wrote and directed the movie. Actors include Sean Maher, who starred on Whedon’s “Firefly” and in his 2005 movie “Serenity;” Fran Kranz, who stars in “The Cabin in the Woods,” which Whedon wrote and is producing; “Castle,” “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Nathan Fillion and “Angel” and “Cabin” star Amy Acker. Spencer Treat Clark and Jillian Morgese, newcomers to Whedon’s projects, also star.
The play is a comedy about two sets of lovers. The fast-talking Benedick and Beatrice banter cynically while the sweet young Claudio and Hero are so in love they can barely speak. Benedick and Beatrice get tricked into proclaiming their love for eachother while Claudio is fooled into rejecting Hero at the altar. But the scheme is foiled and the two couples wed.
Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter, 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.
Hot damn! I’ll totally watch that! Joss Whedon’s version of Much Ado About Nothing is a long way from seeing a release, but it will apparently be touring the festival circuit next fall, because “it’s fancy”.