Much Ado About Nothing: A Film By Joss Whedon by Joss WhedonJoss Whedons new adaptation of Shakespeares classic comedy has already been acclaimed as a masterpiece.
This official book features an Introduction by Joss, his full screenplay, and a gallery of photos from the set. Also included is an extended interview with the director, discussing his approach to the play, and the production of the film, shot in just 12 days at Whedons own house.
Much Ado About Nothing
Within the first 10 minutes of Joss Whedon 's " Much Ado About Nothing ," I found myself smiling with excitement, while also holding my breath in nervous anxiety. Would the film be able to sustain its confident manic tone, maintain its humor and smarts, its depth of characterization and innovative use of text and landscape? Would the magic hold? The magic holds. It holds from beginning to end. Audiences will remember Kenneth Branagh's well-received version from , with the cast of stars tumbling and laughing over bright hillsides in Tuscany, dressed in flowing period garb. Whedon takes a different approach.
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With little exception, the players assembled here—most of them veterans of the Whedonverse—pull off that difficult balancing act with gusto. The performances are strong enough, in fact, to almost completely compensate for the tossed-off nature of the movie, which basically amounts to a bunch of close friends getting together to stage a reading. The locale instead is contemporary California, no less sun-dappled for having been captured on monochrome digital video. Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies. For Whedon, a wizard of words in his own right, the film is a palate cleanser.
It may also be the most exhilarating — a profound trifle that reminds you how close Shakespeare's comedies verge on darkness before pirouetting back into the light. A black-and-white modern-dress version of the play, shot in 12 days at the director's Santa Monica house, the film has the slapdash air of Mickey and Judy putting on a show in a barn. Yet it's a genuine crowd-pleaser — the preview audience I saw it with laughed, gasped, and applauded as if they were at the Globe Theatre — and the play's themes of pretense and revelation, ignorance and honesty, love lost and passion regained, ring happily and true. He has been known to host informal Shakespeare-reading parties at his house, with his regular troupe of actors and actresses stepping up as needed. It sounds like something it'd be fun to be invited to.
Christopher Schobert. How does one follow the biggest superhero film in box office history? Perhaps a better way to phrase it is, how does the man behind some of the most beloved cult TV series and characters in recent pop history follow the biggest superhero film in box office history? And I say that as one who is not a devoted member of the Whedon army. He has created a Shakespeare adaptation that will please just about everyone. Sure, modern-day versions retaining the original language have worked before… but will it here, in sunny, privileged Santa Monica?