When filmmaker Joss Whedon decided to take on Shakespeare for Much Ado About Nothing, now out on Blu-ray/DVD, the result was a contemporary and charming spin that was shot in just 12 days, in and around his house. The story of sparring lovers Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) is a series of comic and tragic events that offer a dark, sexy and, at times, absurd view of the game of love. The film also stars Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Reed Diamond, Tom Lenk and Jillian Morgese.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, to promote the film’s release on Blu-ray, DVD and digital, actress Amy Acker talked about how surprised and excited she was about the reaction to the film, how nervous she was about her first meeting with Joss Whedon, back when she auditioned for Angel, that he still has the same approach to storytelling that he’s always had, and what it’s like to be a part of the Joss Whedon family. She also talked about her work on the CBS drama series Person of Interest (in which she plays the unpredictable Root), how show creator Jonathan Nolan runs a similar creative environment to Joss Whedon, and the possibilities of what’s to come for her character. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
At Comic-Con last week, I was able to participate in roundtable interviews with Kevin Chapman, Sarah Shahi, and new series regular Amy Acker for Person of Interest season three. Chapman talked about Fusco’s role in the show and where he was at the end of season two, Shahi talked about what it’s like to do stunt scenes and a possible all ladies team up episode, and Acker discussed Root’s expanded role, and so much more. Hit the jump to watch the interviews.
Having just started production on their third season this last week, the producers and cast of Warner Bros’ Person of Interest took the time out of what is sure to be an action-packed season to present a panel at this year’s Comic Con. The series is one of TV’s most watched dramas, but in light of the recent leak about the NSA project Prism, the title sequence’s opening line “You are being watched,” might have a completely new meaning this season.
Executive Producers Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman were joined by stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, Sarah Shahi, and, along with the announcement that she is now also a series regular, Amy Acker. During the panel they discussed how the leak of NSA’s Prism might affect the show, what it’s how the character’s motivations have changed since the first season, and what the future might have in store for The Machine. Read more after the jump.
At Thursday night’s Saturn Awards, we landed red carpet video interviews with Gale Anne Hurd, Amy Acker, William Friedkin, and Jonathan Banks. Here’s what was discussed:
- Gale Anne Hurd talked about The Walking Dead, Punisher, the status of Gaiking, and if Walking Dead deserves any of the credit for helping to make World War Z a hit.
- Amy Acker talked about working for Joss Whedon on Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare, Cabin in the Woods, and what’s next.
- William Friedkin talked about how he’d rather work in new genres than repeat himself, whether The Exorcist could be made today, The French Connection Blu-ray, if the perception of Cruising has changed since its release, the resurgence of exorcism films, and more.
- Jonathan Banks talked about Breaking Bad, the last eight episodes, and his future projects. If you haven’t caught up with Breaking Bad, you should not watch this interview.
Hit the jump to watch.
When Shakespeare meets Joss Whedon for Much Ado About Nothing, the result is a contemporary spin that was shot in just 12 days in his house. The story of sparring lovers Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) is a series of comic and tragic events that offer a dark, sexy and, at times, absurd view of the game of love. The film also stars Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Reed Diamond, Tom Lenk and Jillian Morgese.
During this press conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion and Clark Gregg joined Joss Whedon to talk about why Much Ado About Nothing out of all of Shakespeare’s plays, the advantages of doing this in black and white, delivering Shakespeare dialogue versus Whedon dialogue, why Shakespeare is relevant to today’s audiences, the rehearsal process, deciding how much of the original text to trim, and what they took away from the experience. Whedon also talked about going from doing a movie as big as The Avengers before switching gears to do a film as small as Much Ado, getting his dream cast, telling a story where no one dies, and the pressures of doing pop culture TV versus the classics of literature. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Much Ado about Nothing opens today in limited release.]
With a few exceptions, William Shakespeare‘s trips to the big screen have been sumptuous affairs. The plays favor an expansive vision by the director, so we get films like Julie Taymor‘s Titus and Kenneth Branagh‘s Hamlet. But one of the many beautiful things about Shakespeare is how flexible it is in terms of setting. You can set it on a modern battlefield (Ralph Fiennes‘ Coriolanus), in a high school (Tim Blake Nelson‘s Othello adaptation, O), or in the case of Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado about Nothing, in an upper-class home. Whedon’s Much Ado is a bold challenge for the director not because his adaptation lacks fancy costumes or production design, but because he removes two of his greatest assets: his dialogue and a budget. Of course, nothing Whedon (or anyone else) could write would surpass the Bard, but it’s an entertaining exercise seeing the director speak only in a visual language, and then having his budget limit what visuals he has available. With no money and another author’s work, Whedon finds his film’s strength in the superb cast, clever staging, and an expert understanding of dialogue.
Joss Whedon brought his version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy Much Ado about Nothing to WonderCon in a special presentation. Much of the cast of the impromptu production joined Whedon on stage in order to screen the recently-released trailer and two exclusive clips from the film. The panel also shared behind-the-scenes anecdotes about how Whedon recruited them for the film, the experience of contemporizing Shakespeare and just how many of them were drunk during filming (off-screen…of course).
Much Ado about Nothing stars Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Clark Gregg, Tom Lenk, Ashley Johnson, Reed Diamond, Riki Lindhome, Sean Maher and Nathan Fillion and opens in limited release on June 7th. Hit the jump for our panel recap.
The trailer for Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado about Nothing has been released. For those unfamiliar with William Shakespeare‘s play, it follows the trick to bring the bickering Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedict (Alexis Denisof) together, and the deception to tear apart the enamored Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Hero (Jillian Morgese) apart. I caught the film at TIFF, and I was charmed by Whedon’s low-budget exercise in trying to tell a comedy without using his own snappy dialogue. This trailer makes the film look a little more intense, but it’s understandable when trying to sell Shakespeare to a modern audience.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Clark Gregg, Tom Lenk, Ashley Johnson, Reed Diamond, Riki Lindhome, Sean Maher, and Nathan Fillion. Much Ado about Nothing opens in limited release on June 7th.
Steve walked the floor of the American Film Market (AFM) earlier this morning, and he was able to snap some shots of a few promo images and posters that were on display. One such poster belongs to writer/director Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Whedon famously (and secretly) shot the film over the span of a few days after he wrapped Marvel’s mega-budget The Avengers. The modern-day adaptation stars a number of Whedon regulars, including Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, and of course Nathan Fillion. This promo poster features Denisof and Acker front and center against the backdrop of a neat title treatment.
Hit the jump to check out the promo poster, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from TIFF. The film also stars Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, and Jillian Morgese.
Around this time last year, we found out that Joss Whedon (The Avengers) had completed an entire movie in secret; that movie was a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The film recently screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (you can read Matt’s review of it here) and scored a big prize when it was reported that Lionsgate had acquired the film, along with sister company, Roadside Attractions. The micro-budget film was completed in just twelve days in Santa Monica and features such Whedonesque regulars as Amy Acker (The Cabin in the Woods), Nathan Fillion (Firefly) and, now, Clark Gregg (The Avengers). Hit the jump for more on the acquisition and to see what Whedon himself had to say about it.
With a few exceptions, William Shakespeare‘s trips to the big screen have been sumptuous affairs. The plays favor an expansive vision by the director, so we get films like Julie Taymor‘s Titus and Kenneth Branagh‘s Hamlet. But one of the many beautiful things about Shakespeare is how flexible it is in terms of setting. You can set it on a modern battlefield (Ralph Fiennes‘ Coriolanus), in a high school (Tim Blake Nelson‘s Othello adaptation, O), or in the case of Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado about Nothing, in an upper-class home. Whedon’s Much Ado is a bold challenge for the director not because of fancy costumes or complex staging, but because he removes two of his greatest assets: his dialogue and a budget. Of course, nothing Whedon (or anyone else) could write would surpass the Bard, but it’s an entertaining exercise seeing the director speak only in a visual language, and then having his budget limit what visuals he has available. With no money and another author’s work, Whedon finds his film’s strength in the superb cast, clever staging, and an expert understanding of dialogue.
As we come within mere days of the North American premiere of The Avengers, the anticipated marketing A-bomb has officially detonated and is in the process of spewing tiny chunks of promotional material across the globe for all to see. We’ve got special edition cola cans, fancy micro-sites, and even pint-sized LARPing…and, of course, your standard behind-the-scenes TV specials. While this one, from CBS News, is mainly a rehash of stuff we already know/have seen before, it would still be worth watching, if only for the chance to have director/geek god Joss Whedon utterly disarm you with his affable wit, as he discusses his career to date.
But here’s another reason to take a look: it features our first glimpse of Much Ado About Nothing, the self-financed, sub-independent Shakespeare adaptation Whedon shot entirely at his Santa Monica home over a period of 12 days just after The Avengers wrapped. Hit the jump to check it out.
For Joss Whedon, it looks like there’s always time for Shakespeare. One would think that work on The Avengers would consume almost all of the writer-director’s schedule, but apparently he’s been able to squeeze in the mysterious project Much Ado about Nothing. Since the website says “Based on a Play”, presumably it means the one by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s romantic-comedy centers around two couples: the lively and interesting Beatrice and Benedict, and the mopey and less-interesting Claudio and Hero. Both couples a betrayed by the villainous Don John, but love wins out in the end and both couples end up getting married. Despite the lack of supernatural or sci-fi elements, it’s a story that fits nicely into Whedon’s wheelhouse of characters.
Nathan Fillion revealed the project by tweeting a link to the website, and plenty of the usual Whedon suspects have been rounded up for the cast. In addition to Fillion, there’s Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Tom Lenk, Ashley Johnson, Fran Kranz, Reed Diamond, Riki Lindhome, Sean Maher, plus recent collaborator Clark Gregg along with a bunch of new faces. If you’re wondering how a project like this flies under the radar until now, it’s probably because it was a low-budget affair that Whedon cranked out over the course of a few weekends. The photo above is from the website, but we don’t know if it’s an image from the movie, referencing from the movie, or if it’s just how Bellwether Pictures like to congratulate its productions. I’m eager to find out Whedon’s take on the material and how he plans to distribute the picture. [Update: A full press release has appeared on the website, revealing more details about the project including who's playing what role. Hit the jump to read.]