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.
As anyone who listens to the Buffy/Angel DVD commentaries will know, this adaptation is an evolution of the Shakespeare readings Whedon’s been staging at his house with friends/collaborators for years. Hence the inclusion of Whedon-verse favorites Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Amy Acker (Angel, The Cabin in the Woods), Alexis Denisof (Buffy, Angel), Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods), Reed Diamond (Dollhouse), Tom Lenk (Buffy, The Cabin in the Woods) Clark Gregg (The Avengers), and Sean Maher (Firefly).
In the video, you can skip ahead to about the 6-minute mark below for some black-and-white footage of Kranz as Claudio conversing with Gregg as Leonato, Denisof as Benedick crawling over some shrubs, and Acker as Beatrice at a masquerade ball (aka Whedon’s backyard).
Speaking with EW late last year, Whedon articulated his take on the classic Bard play as a noir comedy about “articulate dolts” and the “weird machinations” they (and everyone) must go through in order to find genuine, “grown-up love.” Much Ado About Nothing should hit the festival circuit later this year.
Between this, The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods, I’d say 2012 is shaping up to be the year that Joss Whedon won filmmaking.