It’s Shakespeare’s birthday on Sunday, and TNT is celebrating in style with the foremost Shakespearean scholar of our time, Dr. Shaquille O’Neal.
Okay, maybe Shaq isn’t an expert on the Bard, but he has been known to rap, and one cannot doubt that he has a way with words. After all, he’s been known to impart such wisdom as, “There are seven days in the week and ’Someday’ isn’t one of them,” or “I am the number one ninja and I have killed all the shoguns in front of me.”
O’Neal is also a loyal TNT personality who’s more than willing to step outside of his sports comfort zone. His latest foray into cross-promotion teases the network’s upcoming series, “Will,” a gorgeous period drama about a young William Shakespeare. The show rewinds the clock to Elizabethan England to tell the story of young, lustful and brilliant Will (Laurie Davidson), whose rough-and-tumble life is filled with love — for a woman, for the theater, for his art, and for the city of London.
In honor of the Bard’s birthday and the upcoming series, here are four promo spots of “Shaq on Shakespeare,” in which the NBA star takes his talents to Stratford-upon-Avon:
Featuring a modern soundtrack, “Will” is told in a bold, contemporary style. Think of what “A Knight’s Tale” did to medieval times, and you get the idea.
“Will” was created by Craig Pearce, the writer behind “Moulin Rouge” and Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” adaptation. “Elizabeth” filmmaker Shekhar Kapur directs the pilot. The series also stars Olivia DeJonge, Ewen Bremner, Colm Meaney, Mattias Inwood, Jamie Campbell Bower, William Houston, Lukas Rolfe, Max Bennette and Jasmin Savoy Brown.
“Will” premieres on July 10 on TNT. Watch the trailer: