Update: Joss Whedon has sent out a press release about the project saying, “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.” Shot in 12 days in Santa Monica, the low-budget film will hit the festival circuit next year “because it is fancy.” The casting is as follows: Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof are Beatrice and Benedick; Nathan Fillion is Dogberry, Clark Gregg is Leonato, Fran Kranz is Claudio and Reed Diamong is Don Pedro.
Best known for his cult-favourite television programs “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” Joss Whedon is a bonafide geek favourite with a cult following to boot. The writer-director has always been one for exploring different avenues and going off the beaten path and, while he’s got the currently-lensing superhero epic “The Avengers” in the works, it looks like he may have something else up his sleeve.
Overnight, the internet began buzzing about a new, mysterious Joss Whedon project unveiled by Whedon-verse regular Nathan Fillion through Twitter. The actor linked to the URL muchadothemovie.com which led to site announcing that a new film titled “Much Ado About Nothing” was being backed by Bellwether Pictures and, in fact, had already completed principal photography. Has Whedon actually managed, in the information age, to shoot a whole film under the noses of everyone? It looks like it.
Perhaps bombarded with Twitter replies questioning the site’s authenticity, Fillion tweeted once again hours later affirming that “Oh, it’s real. Very. Very. Real.” Backing Fillion up was costume designer Shawna Trpcic who added that, in response to questions about what format the project was, it was “film ish not sure in what format he will release it.”
Trpcic also confirmed speculation that the project was an adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy of the same name responding to a question about such with “so true” after a fan wrote that “Whedon & Shakespeare: two great tastes that taste great together?” Shakespeare’s story is, of course, a comedy centering on a pair of contrasting lovers which was most recently adapted for the screen in 1993 in a film written, directed and starring Kenneth Branagh alongisde Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington and Emma Thompson.
Also featured on the mysterious site revealed by Fillion was the above image and a cast list which reported that the duo of Whedon and Fillion — who had teamed together on “Firefly” and “Dr. Horrible” — were joined by an array from talent from Whedon’s past projects including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Tom Lenk from “Angel”; Ashley Johnson, Fran Kranz and Reed Diamond from “Dollhouse“; Sean Maher from “Firefly“/”Serenity“; Riki Lindhome from “Buffy“; Clark Gregg from “The Avengers” as well as newcomers such as BriTANick comedy duo Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney and a host of others predominantly drawn from television backgrounds including Jillian Morgese, Paul M. Meston, Emma Bates, Romy Rosemont, Spencer Treat Clark and Joshua Zar.
It’ll be interesting to see how this project is handled from this point. Will Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ directorial stint bring the project attention leading a feature film deal? Or perhaps the project will go down a more unconventiional path a la ‘Dr. Horrible’? Either way, judging by Trpcic’s uncertainty about the project, we imagine it’s probably just sitting on Whedon’s shelf while he lenses “The Avengers” but a Whedon modern revisioning of Shakespeare is certainly an intriguing prospect.