Not satisfied with merely having a blockbuster in the works, entertainment impresario Joss Whedon has just wrapped principal photography on an indie modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing — during his “break” from shooting The Avengers.
Last night a tweet-storm erupted, starting with a mysterious link from Nathan Fillion (Castle, Dr. Horrible, Firefly) – leading to a page titled, “Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing” and listing a Whedon-filled cast including Amy Acker (Beatrice), Alexis Denisof (Benedick), Reed Diamond (Don Pedro), Nathan Fillion (Dogberry), Frank Kranz (Claudio), Sean Maher (Don John), Tom Lenk (Verges) and from The Avengers, Clark Gregg (Leonato).
Reaction from fans and the media was swift, particularly as the project had flown completely under the radar, with some wondering if it weren’t a hoax— until multiple confirmations from performers insisted, “Oh, it’s real. Very. Very. Real.”
Earlier today, the site posted a press release noting some additional details: Bellwether is a “micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and [wife] Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.”
The film was shot in just twelve days. It will be in “glorious” black and white, as lensed by Jay Hunter, whose previous work includes Paper Heart and Dollhouse. Much Ado should be complete by early spring, after which it will head to film festivals. No word as to release onto the Internet, like Whedon’s previous “secret” project Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
Whedon has had a long-held admiration for the works of Shakespeare, including holding regular readings with actors at his home.
Addendum: Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive interview with Joss and cast members.
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