Early Buzz: Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Joss Whedon‘s already two for two this year, earning critical raves for The Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote with Drew Goddard) and then knocking it out of the park on every level with The Avengers. But he’s not finished: His third film of the year, the black-and-white William Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, just premiered at TIFF. And based on the reviews so far it sounds like the perfect capper to Whedon’s already stunning year.

Shot in just 12 days while Whedon was finishing up The Avengers, this version retains the Bard’s dialogue but moves the action to contemporary LA. (Specifically, Whedon’s own house.) Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof star as Beatrice and Benedick, acquaintances whose prickly banter signals an obvious compatibility. Other Whedon favorites fill out the rest of the cast: Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, and Clark Gregg. Read more of the early buzz after the jump.

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Trust Joss Whedon to go from the $220 million extravaganza that is The Avengers to a micro-budget indie adaptation of William Shakespeare. The filmmaker announced last fall that he’d secretly shot Much Ado About Nothing in just two weeks while taking a brief break from his work on his superhero flick, and it’s now due to debut at the Toronto Film Festival next month.

Starring old Whedon favorites like Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Riki Lindholme, and Clark Gregg, Much Ado puts a modern-day spin on the classic romance while keeping the Bard’s original dialogue. The first photos revealed from the project were in color, but this newer batch of stills should do a better job representing the film’s black and white look. Check them out after the jump.

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All-star geek Joss Whedon took over Ballroom 20 at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday to thunderous applause, and although he confessed that he hadn’t properly prepared for the panel, it did little to dampen his fans’ enthusiasm. Whedon took the mic alone at the front of the room, and for an hour fielded questions from an appreciative audience. After the jump, get his updates on Much Ado About Nothing, Dr. Horrible 2, and his possible future with Marvel Studios.

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Joss Whedon isn’t a guy who needs to define his career at this point; thanks to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and other shows he is very well-established as a creator with a specific voice. That said, Whedon really seems to be coming into his own in 2012. The biggest project on his resume so far, The Avengers (a film that would be the biggest on the resume of anyone shy of James Cameron or Peter Jackson) is garnering rave reviews left and right.

Even as that movie was being finished, Whedon was also occupying the other end of the spectrum, with a micro-budget black and white film based on William Shakespeare‘s Much Ado About Nothing. Shot in a couple weeks at Whedon’s home, the Shakespeare film was announced last fall and features Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Amy Acker, Riki Lindhome, and Clark Gregg, plus Spencer Treat Clark, Jillian Morgese, and more.

We’ve seen a couple photos from the small production, but now a news report on the current state of Whedon’s career delivers the first footage from the film. Check that out below. Read More »

Yesterday, news broke of Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing, an indie Shakespeare adaptation he’d filmed in secret while taking a short vacation from The Avengers, just ’cause. Little was known about the project when it was first announced, but in a recent interview the writer/director and stars Sean Maher and Amy Acker opened up a bit more, offering insight into the hows, whys, and whats — as well as the first stills from the film. More after the jump.

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For most filmmakers, writing and directing a high-profile, big-budget would-be blockbuster with a slew of beloved celebs playing iconic characters would provide more than enough stress and excitement to keep them occupied for quite some time. But apparently, Avengers helmer Joss Whedon somehow still had energy left to burn — so much so that he’s managed to squeeze in a whole other secret indie project even as he’s still working on his other, bigger movie.

Sunday night saw the reveal of a website announcing the end of principal photography for Much Ado About Nothing, a mysterious new film starring Firefly‘s Nathan Fillion and Sean Maher among others. More details after the jump.

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