Emile Hirsch is one of the great young actors of his generation but I fear that the Oscar-snub for his work in “Into the Wild” (I can’t stress enough how much the Academy messed up that year for ignoring that film while jacking-off the excruciating “Atonement”) followed by the disappointing box office of the genuinely fun “Speed Racer” may have cooled his career. But you can’t keep a good man down and that’s why he’s going to re-imagine Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” which, as we all know, is about an insane prince whose attempts to avenge his father’s death ends up with pretty much everyone dying at the end. Count of Monte Cristo, he ain’t.
Hirsch conceived his modern re-imagining with “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke and that, as the Bard would say, is the rub. I think Hardwicke is acclaimed for making youth movies that in no way reflect the genuine emotions or actions of young people. Furthermore, while she may be acclaimed as one of the few successful female directors, “Twilight”, her most successful film, made no attempt to distance itself from Stephanie Meyer’s repulsive lesson of women relying on men for protection and definition. Instead, she just washed the film in a blue filter and had laughably bad special effects.
Hirsh and Hardwicke have tapped “Philadelphia” screenwriter Ron Nyswaner for the script which will take place in contemporary America. Producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen (“Milk”) tell The Hollywood Reporter that their goal is “to present the story as a suspense thriller. We want to make it exciting and accessible for an audience today.” You know, I think “Hamlet” is exciting and accessible on its own. That’s why it’s fucking Shakespeare.