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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

QOTD: Which directors would you like to see adapt Shakespeare for the big screen?

Much Ado About Nothing Joss Whedon

Now that the world is oh-so excited about Joss Whedon’s big-screen — if small-budget — adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (watch the trailer here), the inevitable question must be asked:
Which directors would you like to see adapt Shakespeare for the big screen? And which play would you choose for him or her? Who would star? What would the setting and tone be?

You can bet that this is already being talked about behind closed doors in Hollywood… and you can bet that our ideas will be a helluva lot more interesting than whatever is being discussed there…

Have fun!

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • Stuart Ian Burns

    Used to be Steven Soderbergh directing Measure for Measure, with Jude Law as Angelo, Anne Hathaway as Isabella and Alan Arkin as the Duke (with someone like Bernie Mac as Lucio). That’s looking increasingly unlikely.

  • Sophia Coppola directing Twelfth Night. Emma Thompson directing the Merry Wives of Windsor. And Akira Kurosawa directing Lear. …oh wait, he did! :-)

  • RogerBW

    Helen Mirren’s barely done any directing…

  • LaSargenta

    Wes Anderson Midsummer Night’s Dream

    Peter Greenaway Macbeth

    Alex Cox Coriolanus

    Derek Jarman Troilus and Cressida

    Actors? No idea.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    michael bay. no shit. i want to see that final product.

  • You realize if Wes Anderson does Midsummer Night’s Dream, then Bill Murray will probably play Oberon.

    As much as I’d like to see Wes Anderson’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, I’d also love to see Guillermo del Toro’s version of it.

    Oh, And Ridley Scott’s Julius Caesar.

  • LaSargenta

    I always imagined Oberon as a whole lot happier than Murray’s current (apparently) perpetual depression. Or, at least manic. How’s about David Tennant as Oberon? Robin Williams has gotten too old. But, we need someone bouncy.

  • MisterAntrobus

    It’s too bad the late Nora Ephron never tackled Shakespeare. Her genuine warmth and knack for snappy dialogue would have made her a natural for some of the comedies.

    Darren Aronofsky could give us a suitably terrifying Macbeth, I’m convinced.

    P.T. Anderson would be perfect for Lear, with his unflinchingly honest camera and eye for austere beauty.

    I’m convinced that Christopher Nolan and his now well-developed stable of acting talent could deliver a remarkable Shakespeare, but I’m not sure quite what yet. Maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Hamlet? (With Gary Oldman as Claudius, Morgan Freeman as Polonius, Michael Caine as the Ghost, Ellen Page as Ophelia, Marion Cotillard as Gertrude . . . Hmm, I think I just sold myself this concept.) Or maybe Christian Bale as Richard III. That would be fascinating.

  • MisterAntrobus

    Michael Sheen would be great, too.

  • Bluejay

    Alfonso Cuaron.

    Dan Harmon, directing any of the comedies, using the cast of Community. (Heck — with that cast, he can do the tragedies as well.)

    Neil Gaiman, who’s already done Shakespeare brilliantly in Sandman (and who has some directing experience himself).

    The playwright and theater director Mary Zimmerman, whose adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses was astounding and haunts me to this day. I can imagine her doing a film that cobbles many fragments of Shakespeare’s stories together, unified by recurring characters and common themes.

    The musician Anais Mitchell, who turned the Orpheus myth into the folk opera Hadestown — fantastic music and lyrics. Perhaps she can collaborate with a film director to do Hamlet or Macbeth as a musical.

  • Patrick

    Quentin Tarantino’s Hamlet.

  • MisterAntrobus

    As Mr. Mac is sadly a bit too dead to act now, yes – but otherwise I really like that idea. :-)

  • Danielm80

    I’d like to see Martin McDonagh direct an ultra-violent, self-referential version of the Scottish play called The Scottish Play.

  • Danielm80

    Craig Robinson maybe?

  • Excellent, excellent ideas.

  • LaSargenta

    Twelfth Night would work for a musical …so would Merchant of Venice (very different ones, of course).

  • LaSargenta

    Starring Brendan Gleeson.

  • MisterAntrobus

    And Colin Farrell, natch.

  • Greyhound

    Actually, Twelfth Night has been done as a musical. Twice, in fact (no, I’m not counting “All Shook Up,” that godawful Elvis jukebox musical that claims to be a Twelfth Night adatpation but really isn’t).

  • I meant that as more of a Wes Anderson thing than a personal preference. :)

    But wouldn’t you want to save “bouncy” for Puck? David Tennant as Puck would be brill.

  • LaSargenta

    I didn’t know.

  • LaSargenta

    I’ve always imagined Oberon as a coked-out manic nightclub owner and Puck as a sorta skeezy, underhanded go-fer who’d be insinuating rather than bouncy. (Actually, I also imagined Oberon and Titania battling over ownership of “nightlife”, ya know?)

    Come to think of it, maybe Derek Jarman would be better for Midsummer Night’s Dream. Or John Maybury…

  • Nice :D

  • LaSargenta

    Why not David Wilmot? I prefer the Gleeson-Wilmot dynamic rather than Gleeson-Farrell. (The Guard? That exchange while listening to Chet Baker?)

  • LaSargenta

    I think so, too…as long as no one tries to cast Johnny Depp in it in any capacity.

  • MisterAntrobus

    Ran is still the greatest version of King Lear ever committed to film.

  • MisterAntrobus

    Fair enough – but McDonagh seems to be able to get the best out of Farrell, so I was going on their track record, mostly.

  • LaSargenta

    He was in The Lieutenant of Innishmore…McDonagh got great stuff out of him for that. (As a writer, obviously.)

  • Tonio Kruger

    John McTiernan’s Hamlet.

  • MisterAntrobus

    Did you actually get to see that on stage? Nice. (I saw a production of it here in Indianapolis, obviously not involving Mr. McDonagh directly.)

  • MisterAntrobus

    Wait, I thought he did that already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCVc5TaPpe8

  • Tonio Kruger

    Yes, but I would like to see a more complete version.

  • madderrose74

    I just wanna see Amy Acker as the Lady Mac. Somebody get on that.

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