Ethan Hawke and writer-director Michael Almereyda came together in 2000 for a modern-day adaptation of Hamlet, which memorably featured the “To Be or not To Be” soliloquy delivered inside a Blockbuster Video. On the whole, it’s not a particularly great movie, but it is an intriguing and worthwhile take on one of Shakespeare’s best and most famous plays. The duo will now be moving to one of the Bard’s lesser-known works by bringing a modern-day take spin to Cymbeline. According to THR, their version is reportedly in the vein of Sons of Anarchy and Baz Luhrmann‘s Romeo + Juliet, and is an “epic battle between dirty cops and a drug-dealing biker gang set in a corrupt 21st century America.” On the one hand, I like it when directors utilize the flexibility of Shakespeare’s material and move it into a new context. My concern about this Cymbeline is that Almereyda seems to be moving it into a context we’ve already seen with the Shakespeare-as-gang-war re-imagining.
Hawke recently scored a couple hits this past summer with The Purge and Before Midnight. In November, he’ll be doing Hamlet again, but this time it will be on stage at the Lincoln Center Theatre. Hit the jump to see him do the famous soliloquy in Amereyda’s 2000 movie.