Joss Whedon is no stranger to the unconventional. When Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a flunk in cinemas, he turned it into a groundbreaking and exceptionally successful television series. He took the tone and themes of a period western and created the tragically short-lived Firefly, a believable tale of pioneer culture across the galaxy in the distant future. When executive producers changed everything about the oft overlooked Dollhouse, Whedon went over their heads and produced two extra episodes the way he’d intended for the DVD release. And when the writers went on strike, freezing production on dozens of shows, Joss turned it into an opportunity to produce his wonderful, shoestring budget web series, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, starring Nathan Fillion, Neil Patrick Harris and the gorgeous Felicia Day. But perhaps none of those top his latest move, fresh from directing big budget blockbuster The Avengers, the production of a micro-budget adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in his own home.
Whedon has discarded expensive sets, virtual effects and costumes, and gotten together with his friends – and stars of Angel – Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof to shoot this “palette cleanser” off the back of The Avengers. He claims they’ve often gathered at his house for intimate readings of Shakespeare but that he’d never previously conceived of how he might adapt the text for screen. In an interview with Glasgow Film Festival, he confesses it was his wife who finally convinced him to make the move and that the cast and he are flabbergasted that something they did to wind down has already garnered so much attention.
Much Ado About Nothing has already had its worldwide premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, European premieres at the 2013 Jameson Dublin International FIlm Festival and the 2013 Glasgow Film Festival and is scheduled for a US premiere at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival on March 9th. Theatrical release is set for June 7th.
This article was first posted on February 28, 2013