Ahead of the film’s Venice Film Festival debut, a new Cymbeline trailer has been unveiled along with the news that writer/director Michael Almereyda’s unique Shakespeare adaptation has been acquired for North American distribution by Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment. The film reinvents one of Shakespeare’s lesser works and revolves around an epic battle between dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang, set in a corruption-riddled contemporary America. As evidenced by this new trailer, It’s very much in the vein of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, and it actually marks the second Shakespeare collaboration between Almereyda and star Ethan Hawke, as the two previously worked together on 2000’s Hamlet. This adaptation of Cymbeline looks to be rather intense, with even a bit of a Sons of Anarchy vibe aside from the Shakespearean dialogue.
Watch the new Cymbeline trailer and first clip after the jump. The film also stars Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson, and Anton Yelchin. Cymbeline will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will be released in spring 2015.
Santa Monica and Los Angeles, CA (September 2, 2014) – Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) Grindstone Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to Hamlet writer/director Michael Almereyda’s modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Cymbeline ahead of its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, it was announced today by the film’s producers, Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures and Anthony Katagas of Keep Your Head Productions. The film, starring Academy Award nominees Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) and Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind), Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), John Leguizamo (Chef), Penn Badgley (Margin Call, Easy A), Dakota Johnson (the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness) will be distributed in spring 2015 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
“We have the highest confidence that Lionsgate and Grindstone will give Cymbeline the dedicated handling it deserves,” said Benaroya and Katagas. “We’re deeply impressed with their enthusiasm and couldn’t be happier that they have come on board to release the film in North America.”
“We’re thrilled to have acquired a visionary film with an amazing cast assembled by Michael Almereyda, and we’re excited about partnering with Benaroya Pictures, whose track record of producing quality films speaks for itself,” said Grindstone partners Barry Brooker and Stan Wertlieb.
Cymbeline is produced by Katagas (Academy Award-winning Best Picture 12 Years aSlave, The Immigrant, Killing Them Softly) for Keep Your Head Productions and Benaroya (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions’ Margin Call, Kill Your Darlings), who is fully financing the film through his Benaroya Pictures banner. Ben Sachs of Benaroya executive produced the film along with Brooker and Wertlieb. Andrew Fierberg (That Awkward Moment, Hamlet) co–produced Cymbeline.
Cymbeline unfolds amidst an epic battle between dirty cops and a drug dealing biker gang, set in a corruption-riddled contemporary America. In the style of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Cymbeline is a fresh take on a universal story of love, betrayal and revenge.
CAA negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers and Barry Brooker, Stan Wertlieb and Ryan Black on behalf of Grindstone.
International Film Trust is handling international rights to the film.