MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Review

by     Posted 1 year, 115 days ago

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[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 FiennesCoriolanus), 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.

New UK Trailer for Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

by     Posted 1 year, 159 days ago

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While The Avengers 2 is still very much in the pre-production stage and we haven’t heard much movement recently on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, everyone will have their Joss Whedon fix very soon.  The UK trailer for his new movie, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, was just released, showing a bit more of the film than the first trailer.  Much Ado tells the story of two stubborn individuals, Beatrice and Benedick, and their haphazard journey to finding love with each other that involves a ridiculous amount of deception and wit.  This one gives glimpses into the interwoven drama with jabs of comedy Whedon is more known for, and I for one am very excited to see him take on an updated but understated version of this classic.  I like that he’s kept the original text, but is playing with the tone and creating a new feel for it.

The cast includes many of Whedon’s mainstays, such as Amy Adams, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Sean Maher, Nathan Fillion, Fran Kranz, Tom Lenk, Reed Diamond, and Ashley Johnson.  I love seeing Whedon bring back his beloved roster of actors, and I have no doubt that the combination of the cast he’s chosen and his distinctive style of filmmaking and directing will provide something fun and entertaining.  The film is set for a June 7th release.  Hit the jump for the trailer.

WonderCon: Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Panel Recap Featuring Behind-the-Scenes Commentary from the Director, Cast and Crew

by     Posted 1 year, 182 days ago

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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.

Trailer for Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

by     Posted 1 year, 207 days ago

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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 FillionMuch Ado about Nothing opens in limited release on June 7th.

Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Picked Up by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions

by     Posted 2 years, 18 days ago

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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.

TIFF 2012: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Review

by     Posted 2 years, 20 days ago

much-ado-about-nothing-amy-acker-alexis-denisof-slice

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 FiennesCoriolanus), 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.

New AVENGERS TV Report Yields First Footage of Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

by     Posted 2 years, 152 days ago

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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.

Joss Whedon Wraps Shooting on Secret Adaptation of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING [Updated]

by     Posted 2 years, 341 days ago

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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.]

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