The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0184  Wednesday, 17 April 2013

From:        Al Magary <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 16, 2013 5:04:09 PM EDT

Subject:     R&J and Much Ado Too


I watched the trailer for the new Romeo and Juliet (to be released in the UK in October) and it looks hotter, moister, and flashier than the Franco Zefferelli version of 1968, also more darkly lit but lusher in its location filming in Verona, Mantua, and Rome.  More swordplay too.


Juliet is played by 16-year-old American actress Hailee Steinfeld, memorable as Mattie Ross in the 2010 True Grit; and Romeo by Douglas Booth, 20, English, seen recently as Pip in the 2011 Great Expectations TV miniseries.  The estimable Damian Lewis is Lord Capulet, Paul Giamatti is Friar Laurence.  Screenplay is by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey.


Coming sooner than R&J is a modernized b&w version of Much Ado about Nothing, the poster and tagline (“Shakespeare knew how to throw a party”) for which explain its intended audience:


BTW the Hollywood Reporter writer led his story on these two films with a bit of parody: “Two film adaptations, both alike in writer in the world of cinema where we lay our scene, from silent movies to colourful modernised versions, where poor performances make Shakespeare’s words unclean. From forth the respected pen of Julian Fellowes and Joss Whedon, a pair of Shakespeare adaptations hit the screen.”  



Al Magary


[Editor’s Note:  The Joss Whedon Much Ado was screened at the SAA in Toronto, and I enjoyed it very much. There is no doubt that its target audience is far younger than I. –Hardy]


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