Joss Whedon Wraps Shooting on Secret Adaptation of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING [Updated]

     October 24, 2011


For Joss Whedon, it looks like there’s always time for Shakespeare.  One would think that work on The Avengers would consume almost all of the writer-director’s schedule, but apparently he’s been able to squeeze in the mysterious project Much Ado about Nothing.  Since the website says “Based on a Play”, presumably it means the one by William Shakespeare.  Shakespeare’s romantic-comedy centers around two couples: the lively and interesting Beatrice and Benedict, and the mopey and less-interesting Claudio and Hero.  Both couples a betrayed by the villainous Don John, but love wins out in the end and both couples end up getting married.  Despite the lack of supernatural or sci-fi elements, it’s a story that fits nicely into Whedon’s wheelhouse of characters.

Nathan Fillion revealed the project by tweeting a link to the website, and plenty of the usual Whedon suspects have been rounded up for the cast. In addition to Fillion, there’s Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Tom Lenk, Ashley Johnson, Fran Kranz, Reed Diamond, Riki Lindhome, Sean Maher, plus recent collaborator Clark Gregg along with a bunch of new faces.  If you’re wondering how a project like this flies under the radar until now, it’s probably because it was a low-budget affair that Whedon cranked out over the course of a few weekends.  The photo above is from the website, but we don’t know if it’s an image from the movie, referencing from the movie, or if it’s just how Bellwether Pictures like to congratulate its productions.  I’m eager to find out Whedon’s take on the material and how he plans to distribute the picture. [Update: A full press release has appeared on the website, revealing more details about the project including who’s playing what role. Hit the jump to read.]

joss-whedon-imageHere’s the press release:

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



The Players:

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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