First Look: Ralph Fiennes' Modern Take On Shakespeare's Coriolanus


We've reported briefly on Coriolanus before — that's Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut, and an update of Shakespeare's play about a Roman general who attacked Rome after being exiled from the city.  Now we've got the first images from the film, and even though an updating of a story about men of war would necessitate seeing the cast in full battle dress, I'm still oddly surprised to see Fiennes kitted out for the war in the Middle East.

The images come from, by way of The Playlist. The film is shooting in Serbia, with Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain. And while the images don't really show off this fact, Fiennes is using Barry Ackroyd — cinematographer for The Hurt Locker and and Green Zone — so you can reasonably expect a gritty, street-level look at the conflict in the story.

And what is that story? Coriolanus is a tragedy about the Roman leader Gaius Martius Coriolanus (Fiennes), a brilliant general who faced a schism between the support of the Senate and the will of the plebians. Citizens are angry at Coriolanus for withholding grain, but he earns a title as hero of Rome after facing down an army led by Tullus Aufidius (Butler). Upon his return to Rome, the mother of Coriolanus (Redgrave) encourages him to take a more active role in city politics. But his enemies push him into a rage, he rails against the idea of the plebeians having power, and is banished as a traitor. Coriolanus makes a deal with Aufidius to take revenge on Rome.

Head to 30Ninjas to see the photos.