Happy St. Crispin’s Day! For all you Shakespeare fans out there:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired its first episode when I was in 7th grade. I was shy and insecure and didn’t quite know how to grow up. Buffy, with its quips and demonic high school drama, helped me maneuver into young adulthood. As a result, Joss Whedon has a very special place in my heart. Then I find out he did a version of Much Ado About Nothing and I want to scream “Stop making me love you, Joss!” From the press release:
“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.”
Whedon meets the Bard? So awesome! And he cast includes Whedon-verse veterans like Alexis Denisof and Nathan Fillion. It looks like the film is set to release this year, but not a lot of details about where/when exactly. But with Whedon’s recent Avengers success, I’m hoping this might get a wider release and appeal to teen viewers. Shakespeare is way cool, guys.
If you want even more on Whedon, check out this interview.
(The picture: me getting to meet Joss Whedon a few years ago. I think I said “Thanks so much for making awesome stuff and doing this presentation,” and managed to stay fairly calm. But inside it was like “YOU GOT ME THROUGH MIDDLE SCHOOL, I LOVE YOU.”)
You can also check out this video on the making of this version of Hamlet. English teachers, take note.
Side note: the scene with Hamlet holding Yorick’s skull is probably one of the best-known images in theater, so it’s easy to forget what’s going on in the scene. I took a Shakespeare class in grad school, and our professor reminded us that Hamlet is holding the skull of probably the only person who ever really cared about him. The skull isn’t just a prop–it’s what’s left of the head of someone he loved. That scene suddenly became so sad for me! Shakespeare knew what he was doing, guys.
(image: The Guardian)