On Oct. 24, it was revealed director Joss Whedon,who just finished principal photography on “The Avengers,” had secretly completed another movie “Much Ado About Nothing.”
And if news of Whedon’s black-and-white contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare wasn’t big enough, the project was completed in secret. With a cast of Whedon regulars, including Nathan Fillion (“Firefly,” “Dr. Horrible”), Amy Acker (“Angel”) Alexis Denisof (“Buffy,” “Angel”), and Sean Maher (“Firefly”). In 12 days. At Whedon’s home in Santa Monica, Calif.
Fillion tweeted out a link to Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” movie site Monday, the first mention of the movie to outsiders. Soon after, Whedon talked about the project to Entertainment Weekly, offering details about the film’s shoot.
In his interview with EW, Whedon speaks about his wife Kai Cole’s support of the project, encouraging him to do the film at their house during their vacation and their 20th anniversary.
Whedon notes the film is the first for Bellwether Pictures, the couple’s micro studio specializing in “creator-controlled small fare” that specialize in the “production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies.”
Whedon also noted his love for Shakespeare has been long established, having hosted readings at his house before – including one of “Much Ado” with Acker and Denisof in the roles they have in the film, Beatrice and Benedick.
With regards to the choice of “Much Ado,” Whedon told EW:
I had trouble at first, because it had the words “About Nothing” in the title. So I was like, “I don’t have anything to say about nothing.” But really when I started pouring over it, I got a very strong sense of how a little bit dark and twisted it is. The movie’s in black-and-white partially because it’s kind of a noir comedy. I realized that everybody in it behaves like such a dolt — an articulate dolt, but a dolt. I fixated on this notion that our ideas of romantic love are created for us by the society around us, and then escape from that is grown-up love, is marriage, is mature love, to escape the ideals of love that we’re supposed to follow. So that clicked for me when I realized, oh, I get why it matters everybody goes through the weird machinations we go through.
In addition to Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing” stars Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, Clark Gregg as Leonato, Fran Kranz as Claudio, Reed Diamond as Don Pedro, and Sean Maher as Don John.
Production on “Much Ado About Nothing” wrapped on Sunday. Whedon has said he’s interested in taking the movie to film festivals in 2012.
With that in mind, Whedon’s “Much Ado” might be a perfect fit for the eclectic mix of films offered by Pittsburgh’s own Three Rivers Film Festival, which showcases cult and independent films among others.
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