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.
THR reports out of TIFF that Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have picked up Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. With his characteristic wit, Whedon commented on the acquisition as follows:
“I’m thrilled to be working with my cronies at Lionsgate again, and with The Roadside team,” Whedon said. “That they all embrace a Shakespearean romance with the same enthusiasm they had for Cabin in the Woods shows that they’re exactly the mad fools we want to be partying – I mean working – with.”
Here’s a look at the press release from when the picture originally wrapped production, from the film’s website:
Santa Monica, CA (October 24 th , 2011)
Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.
Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter (PAPER HEART, “Dollhouse”), the film stars Amy Acker (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Alias”) and Alexis Denisof (“How I Met Your Mother”, “Angel”) as Beatrice and Benedick, the world’s least likely lovers headed for their inevitable tumble into love. As Joss Whedon puts it: “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.” The supporting cast includes Nathan Fillion (“Castle”, WAITRESS) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (AVENGERS, IRON MAN) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Dollhouse”) as Claudio and Reed Diamond (“Franklin & Bash”, MONEYBALL) as Don Pedro.
The film was produced by Whedon, line-produced by Nathan Kelly and M. Elizabeth Hughes, and co-produced by Kai Cole and Danny Kaminsky. The super-impressive cast is listed below. Full tech credits (for the extraordinary crew) will be up shortly. The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.