In an exclusive to Indiewire, the Seattle International Film Festival has announced that Joss Whedon's black-and-white modern take on William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" is locked in to open the 39th edition of the event on May 16, with Whedon and the cast in tow. The romantic comedy, which world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has subsequently been picked up by Lionsgate, marks the first film completed by Bellwether Pictures, the micro-budget studio formed by Whedon and his wife, Kai Cole.
"I could not be happier that the Seattle International Film Festival will be opening this year with 'Much Ado About Nothing,'" said Much Ado star Alexis Denisof, who stars as Benedick in the film. "I grew up in Seattle, and it is where all my dreams of being an actor began. Bringing this movie to my hometown is a very special occasion."
SIFF artistic and co-director Carl Spence added, "'Much Ado' is the perfect film to open the 2013 Festival. The mash-up of Shakespeare with Joss Whedon's creativity in storytelling contemporizes the source material, infusing it with modern-day antics and making the original text refreshingly funny and accessible. This film is a passion project for Whedon, Cole, and his cast, and we are thrilled to celebrate it here in Seattle."
The festival runs May 16 - June 9.