UPDATE: The twitter-verse exploded recently with news of Joss Whedon having shot a film adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," and launching a website and everything.
Well now he's posted a press release on the site that answers a few questions:
Santa Monica, CA (October 24th, 2011)
Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy
adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr.
Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa
Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project
surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio
created by Joss Whedon and 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.
Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter (PAPER HEART, “Dollhouse”), the film
stars Amy Acker (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Alias”) and Alexis Denisof (“How I Met
Your Mother”, “Angel”) as Beatrice and Benedick, the world’s least likely lovers headed
for their inevitable tumble into love. As Joss Whedon puts it: “The text is to me a
deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love
letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.” The supporting cast
includes Nathan Fillion (“Castle”, WAITRESS) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (AVENGERS,
IRON MAN) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Dollhouse”) as
Claudio and Reed Diamond (“Franklin & Bash”, MONEYBALL) as Don Pedro.
The film was produced by Whedon, line-produced by Nathan Kelly and M. Elizabeth
Hughes, and co-produced by Kai Cole and Danny Kaminsky. The super-impressive cast
is listed below. Full tech credits (for the extraordinary crew) will be up shortly. The film
should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is
Amy Acker - Beatrice
Alexis Denisof - Benedick
Nathan Fillion - Dogberry
Clark Gregg - Leonato
Reed Diamond - Don Pedro
Fran Kranz - Claudio
Sean Maher - Don John
Spencer Treat Clark - Borachio
Riki Lindhome - Conrade
Ashley Johnson - Margaret
Emma Bates - Ursula
Tom Lenk - Verges
Nick Kocher - First Watchman
Brian McElhaney - Second Watchman
Joshua Zar - Leonato’s aide
Paul M. Meston - Friar Francis
Romy Rosemont - The Sexton
And introducing Jillian Morgese as Hero
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Nate Fillion's and Joss Whedon's publicists may want to touch up their resumes, as Fillion has taken to Twitter to announce the completion of their latest film together.
"muchadothemovie.com" Fillion tweeted late yesterday, which he was forced to follow up a few hours later with "Oh, it's real. Very. Very. Real. muchadothemovie.com" (via The Playlist).The link takes you to a website that says, "Bellwether Pictures is proud to announce the completion of principal photogrpahy" across the top, followed by a lengthy list of actors, the image above (ibn the middle) and underneath it says "A FILM BY JOSS WHEDON" and then "BASED ON A PLAY." That's it
So how on Earth does a man like Whedon, who's knee-deep in "The Avengers," manage to make a movie? And without anyone knowing about it? According to a tweet from GrrrAargh, "He had 2 weeks holiday, they filmed it then, finished yesterday, how it will be released hasn't exactly been decided yet."
The cast includes previous Whedon collaborators Reed Diamond, Clark Gregg and Amy Acker among others, and there's speculation that a more informed announcement is imminent. We'll keep you posted.