Double Dose of Shakespeare

This year, there are going to be 2 highly hyped, major event adaptations of Shakespeare plays. Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing and Carlo Carlei/Julian Fellowes’ Romeo and Juliet. Now that the trailer for Romeo and Juliet has been released, I feel like I should give my thoughts on the trailers for both films, starting off with Much Ado About Nothing.

Now the main draw for this film is easily the involvement of Joss Whedon. It’s always the case that when you go into a Whedon film you expect witty dialogue and great characters and that’s what makes Much Ado About Nothing the perfect Shakespeare work for Whedon to adapt to the screen. It’s also interesting to see how professional the film is made seeing how it was filmed over 12 days at Whedon’s house with a group of friends. This should look like someone’s first film but Whedon’s experience with cinema helps lend the film a great look for a film made under those conditions and the black and white look for the film is just gorgeous.
Also, like any other Whedon film, the cast is excellent. Now the cast is made up of Whedon’s mates and all of them are well established actors. Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker look great as Benedick and Beatrice and it’s great to see Clark Gregg in anything but for me, the big draw in the cast is Nathan Fillion as Dogberry. Fillion is always great at playing this type of character and this will hopefully be another great show of Fillion’s acting talent.
The next trailer then is for Romeo and Juliet.
Now for this film, the main draw for me is the casting, specifically Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. After the release of True Grit in 2011, I really wanted to see what Steinfeld would do next and it still feels a bit weird to me that it’s been over 2 years since the film came out. What’s interesting about her being cast in this though is that it’s one of the only times that an actress playing Juliet was of a similar age to the character as Shakespeare described (the character was written to be 13). The other cast members all look great, I really like Damian Lewis and Stellan Skarsgard in pretty much everything they do and Paul Giamatti is a perfect choice for Friar Lawrence, I even remember hearing that Giamatti was cast in the film and before I saw what role he was playing I just knew that it would be Friar Lawrence. My main problem with this trailer is that it gives way too much of the story away, although given the period setting, I’m guessing this is appealing to everyone already familiar with the play or other adaptations.
So those are the trailers for the 2 Shakespeare adaptations out this year and in case you want to know which one I’m looking forward to most it’s, if you hadn’t already guessed, Much Ado About Nothing and I will try to see both of these films when they are released in the UK this summer.
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