Chances are good that Anne Hathaway will be boasting “Oscar-winner” next to her name by the end of next month, seeing how she’s a front-runner to be dubbed Best Supporting Actress in Les Misérables by the Academy.
She’s aiming to avoid the infamous post-Oscars win slump, by circling a relatively prestigious new cinematic take on William Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew. This version is being scripted by Abi Morgan, co-writer of Shame, the sole screenwriter on The Iron Lady and creator of the Golden Globe-nominated mini-series The Hour.
Morgan’s adaptation takes place in “mid-20th century Italy.” That probably means it re-envisions Shakespeare’s play by placing the main battle-of-sexes conflict – between headstrong Katherina and incorrigible Petruchio – against the backdrop of cultural upheaval (in keeping with Morgan’s oeuvre to date). Tonally, I’m picturing a re-telling that approaches the setting with modern awareness, somewhat familiar to Hathaway’s Jane Austen biopic Becoming Jane; though, one expects more historical accuracy, since it’s arriving in the post-Mad Men era of looking back at the mid-20th century.
Taming of the Shrew (like most Shakespeare plays) has been told and re-told in cinematic form so often, it’s all the trickier for any new iteration to distinguish itself from its predecessors. It’s also a play where new interpretations are constantly re-examining and updating its themes, to account for more than four centuries’ worth of time that’ve passed since it was written (and the changes in gender perspective that have accompanied them).
Nonetheless, Morgan and Hathaway seem like a pairing that could bring something new to the table, rather than just rehashing what’s been done in previous straight adaptations and re-imaginings alike (Kiss Me, Kate, 10 Things I Hate About You).
We’ll keep you posted on Morgan’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Source: The Wrap