Sir Ian McKellen looks like he really enjoys being Sir Ian McKellen. During a two and a half hour one-man show in London, the legend sent electricity through the Harold Pinter Theater with his radiant joy and passion. He relished every line of dialogue he spoke, created a personable and direct dialogue with his captivated audience, and yes, he did shout, “You shall not pass!” In fact, McKellen started his traveling one-man show by reading a passage from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and delivering that very line; so by saying things only got better from there, you can imagine how the rest of the show was a magical experience. It was an unforgettable performance witnessing pure greatness perform right in front of your very eyes.
Read More »
Netflix’s The King is a reverse Hobbit: instead of adapting one book into three movies, it adapts three plays into one film. Shorn of Shakespearean dialogue, this loose retelling of Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V gets by on character and plot. Timothée Chalamet brings a brooding intensity to the Henry V role, which sees him following in the footsteps of classically trained luminaries like Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir Kenneth Branagh. That he can hold his own as a screen presence, even in comparison to thespians such as those, bodes well for his starring role in next year’s Dune.
The King also reunites director David Michôd with Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendolsohn, two actors who broke out internationally after appearing in Michôd’s 2010 Australian crime drama, Animal Kingdom. Edgerton serves as Michôd’s co-writer here, just as he did for the 2014 dystopian outback Western, The Rover, starring Guy Pearce. Michôd brings back Robert Pattinson from that movie; like Chalamet, Pattinson is no stranger to heartthrob status, and he’s set to headline a future tentpole (just a little movie called The Batman).
The King arrives in a post-Game of Thrones landscape where at-home audiences have become inured to watching court intrigue play out in medieval settings. Yet its source material predates Game of Thrones by centuries. Writer George R.R. Martin drew from the same period of history as Shakespeare’s Henriad, the cycle of plays that this movie partially adapts. Among other things, The King depicts the muddy hell of the Battle of Agincourt, the original inspiration for the Battle of the Bastards. This may not be Westeros, but war is still bloody and mud underfoot is an apt symbol for the innocence-to-experience arc that Chalamet’s conflicted prince undergoes as he dons his father’s crown and enters the moral quagmire of adulthood.
Read More »
Have you ever read William Shakespeare‘s work and thought, This is good, but wouldn’t it be even better if it was a trilogy set in a dystopian future? Wait, what if it was not only set in the future, but, like, totally also about ass-kicking superhuman soldiers? That’d be pretty chill, right? If that thought has ever crossed your mind, then Lionsgate is bringing your dream to life. The studio purchased the rights to Romeo and Juliet: The War, a New York Times bestseller back in 2012.
Learn more about the project after the jump.
Read More »
Macbeth, from director Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, appears to be, if nothing else, a visually overwhelming adaptation of the play by William Shakespeare. Fassbender plays the general Macbeth, of course, who becomes king through treacherous violence, while Cotillard plays his devious and ruthless wife Lady Macbeth.
This Macbeth featurette features interviews with those three primary voices (Shakespeare not included) and features interesting notes just as Kurzel saying the script read like a western, and the idea that Macbeth is suffering from PTSD.
There are some good “making of” shots here, too, which are just as visually striking as the film’s footage itself. Fortunately, this featurette is just a bit more substantial than most things of this type. Running five minutes long it’s still a pretty digestible piece of marketing, but it gives the actors room to talk, and so we’ll take it.
Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 by Angie Han
Kenneth Branagh may have just added one more item to Martin Scorsese‘s very long to-do list. According to the actor, Scorsese is looking to direct a feature film adaptation of the classic William Shakespeare tragedy Macbeth, based on the recent stage production mounted by Branagh.
And though Branagh acknowledges that scheduling could be tricky, he maintains they’re “practically there” and he’s feeing “very very hopeful.” More on the potential Martin Scorsese Macbeth project after the jump. Read More »
That shot above shows off Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender as they appear in the new version of Macbeth. The film is directed by Justin Kurzel, the Australian filmmaker behind Snowtown, and stars Michael Fassbender in the title role of the William Shakespeare adaptation. Another, more striking shot is below. Read More »
Cymbeline is a modern telling of William Shakespeare‘s play of the same name, from writer-director Michael Almereyda and star Ethan Hawke, who previously teamed to adapt Hamlet in 2000. We only heard of this film recently, and we’ve already got a trailer, probably due to the effort to secure distribution for the film in various territories.
And while you might hear “Shakespeare adaptation” and start to feel dismissive, this is akin to Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus or even Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet in that it uses Shakespeare’s play to power a cops and bikers story that has plenty of violence and energy. It looks interesting at the very least, and since the script retains the play’s original dialogue, there’s an appealing lilt to the proceedings, too. There’s also the additional cast: Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Penn Badgley, Anton Yelchin and Dakota Johnson, for starters. Check out the trailer below.
Read More »
As we promised in “The Ones Who Knock” Kickstarter, I will be doing weekly recaps here for each episode of Breaking Bad. For those of you unfamiliar with my recapping style, it’s less of a straightforward plot summary and more a distillation of the most interesting elements of each week’s episode. The recaps will spoil everything up through the current episode (S5E11 “Confessions”), but won’t spoil any future episodes or even scenes from the “Next Time” segment of the show. There will, however, be some light speculation and straight-up crackpot theories. No theory or speculation is based on foreknowledge of the show. So hold on to your pork pie hats, because here we go. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Briefly: Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) is prepping a new film version of Shakespeare’s bloody, twisted play Macbeth, and he’s got Michael Fassbender to play the namesake character who lusts murderously after the throne of Scotland.
Natalie Portman was originally the choice to play Lady Macbeth, but she’s now out of the picture as it moves towards a January 2014 shoot. But her replacement is potentially an even better choice. Marion Cotillard will now play the woman who encourages her husband to murder for power, and guides the effort to cover up his killings, before she gives in to guilt over the crimes. [Deadline]
Was Joss Whedon’s adaptation of the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing a little more lightweight than you like from the Bard?
If so, the massive Sam Mendes-produced project The Hollow Crown might be what you’re looking for. The BBC series adapts four Shakespeare plays, “Richard II,” “Henry IV Part 1” and “Part 2,” and “Henry V,” with Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons and Ben Whishaw in primary roles. When I say “massive,” I mean it, too: this sucker runs over 500 minutes.
The word “epic” is abused with respect to stories of late, but I think it applies here with no doubt. Check out a trailer below. Read More »