By Victoria Irwin, Senior Correspondent and R.C. Samo, Editor in Chief
Producers Joss Whedon and Kai Cole have successfully adapted Much Ado About Nothing for a contemporary audience. Presented in black and white, the Shakespearean comedy of love and trickery was intentionally rendered this way because Whedon “felt strongly that it fit the narrative,” as well as giving the film, “the old fashioned kind of glamor.” Whedon also playfully joked that they “couldn’t afford costumes so black and white seemed the way to go.”
What drew Whedon to Much Ado About Nothing was the fact that so many of the themes are still relevant to a modern audience. He states, “It’s an open debate about the way we behave and what we’re expected to do.” Whedon saw the production performed live and was, “stunned by how funny and accessible it was.” The play became a natural choice to adapt for a modern audience.
Clark Gregg, known for his role as Agent Coulson in Marvel’s The Avengers, accidentally identified himself as “Agent…Leonato” when describing himself in his role for the adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. As a teenager, Gregg played Benedick and truly engaged with Shakespeare for the first time.
Alexis Denisof who plays Benedick, said that Whedon, “has his finger on the contemporary pulse of the American youth.” His follow up of “but his finger is going a lot deeper than that” was met with laughter from his costars.
Actor Nathan Fillion, famous for his role as Captain Malcolm Reynold’s on Whedon’s cult hit Firefly, plays the character Dogberry in the film, and seemed very relieved to understand the play through the eyes of Whedon. Fillion claims to have “studied it” the way a student studies Shakespeare in high school. “I don’t want to say Joss Whedon is the Shakespeare of our generation,” he commented, following with, “It’s true, but I don’t want to say it.” Fellow co-star Denisof, countered with, “I’ve just been saying Shakespeare was the Joss Whedon of his generation.”
“Trying to adapt Shakespeare is certainly as daunting as making a super hero film,” Whedon commented. “But for different reasons.” Whedon has successfully proven that whether it’s Superheros or Shakespeare, he is up to the task. Starring Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion and Clark Greg, Joss Whedon’s rendition of Much Ado About Nothing will be released in theaters nationwide on June 21.
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