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Joss Whedon Shakespeare Movie Project Apparently Not a Hoax

By on October 24, 2011

Joss Whedon, creator and director of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly, has just completed filming a version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, according to Tweets from some of the project’s actors and crew.

Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) is reportedly playing Dogberry, and Emma Bates will be Ursula. Sean Maher (Firefly) also appears to be involved.

Hopefully more details on this until-now secret project will emerge soon, such as an explanation of the rather baffling imagery on the initial poster.  Stay tuned!

[box_dark]Updated:  The following official press release has been posted at the movie’s website.  Joss Whedon fans will be excited to see Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker, formerly coupled in Angel, as Benedick and Beatrice; other returning Whedon favorites include Fran Kranz (Dollhouse) as Claudio, Sean Maher (Firefly) as Don John, and Tom Lenk (Buffy) as Verges, along with many other fine performers (as shown in the “super impressive cast list” below)!  The film is expected to be shown at film festivals in the spring (“because it is fancy,” says Joss) and will likely be distributed on the web afterwards.[/box_dark]

Santa Monica, CA (October 24th, 2011)

Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). 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.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.

Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter (PAPER HEART, “Dollhouse”), the film stars Amy Acker (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Alias”) and Alexis Denisof (“How I Met Your Mother”, “Angel”) as Beatrice and Benedick, the world’s least likely lovers headed for their inevitable tumble into love. As Joss Whedon puts it: “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.” The supporting cast includes Nathan Fillion (“Castle”, WAITRESS) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (AVENGERS, IRON MAN) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Dollhouse”) as Claudio and Reed Diamond (“Franklin & Bash”, MONEYBALL) as Don Pedro.

The film was produced by Whedon, line-produced by Nathan Kelly and M. Elizabeth Hughes, and co-produced by Kai Cole and Danny Kaminsky. The super-impressive cast is listed below. Full tech credits (for the extraordinary crew) will be up shortly. The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.

The Players:

Amy Acker – Beatrice
Alexis Denisof – Benedick
Nathan Fillion – Dogberry
Clark Gregg – Leonato
Reed Diamond – Don Pedro
Fran Kranz – Claudio
Sean Maher – Don John
Spencer Treat Clark – Borachio
Riki Lindhome – Conrade
Ashley Johnson – Margaret
Emma Bates – Ursula
Tom Lenk – Verges
Nick Kocher – First Watchman
Brian McElhaney – Second Watchman
Joshua Zar – Leonato’s aide
Paul M. Meston – Friar Francis
Romy Rosemont – The Sexton
And introducing Jillian Morgese as Hero

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