Joss Whedon has to be some kind of superhero. Possibly the Multiple Man. Because somehow between his duties on the Avengers over the past year or so, he managed to put together a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing with a wide array of actors from the much-loved Whedon Television Players Association* (aka some of the folks we've seen working on his various iconic shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse). Sure, he shot it in only 12 days in Santa Monica, but when did he have time?! I have a hard enough time writing these posts AND taking out the garbage in the same day.
Okay, he was JUST a producer, but that still requires work, right? Right?
I’m not complaining. More Whedon stuff, the better. Other than Lionsgate finally releasing Cabin in the Woods next April 13th (after wrenching it from the hands of the financially faltering MGM) and a little film called the Avengers next May, we can expect Much Ado About Nothing to be finished in the spring as well, just in time to hit the festival circuit. And beyond the geeky joy that comes with Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle), Tom Lenk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Clark Gregg (Avengers, Iron Man, Thor) appear in the film, but we also get a pseudo-non-reunion of Wesley and Fred from Angel, since Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker both appear as the leads in the adaptation of this classic play.
Aaaaand there’s not much else to know. A man holding a martini in a lake while wearing scuba gear is all we’ve got to go on so far.
That and the official 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
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
*There is actually no such association by this name. Apologies if you are an actor reading this, thinking that you missed your invitation to the happy group.