‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Trailer: ‘Avengers’ Director Joss Whedon Does Shakespeare

Published 2 years ago by

Upon finishing principal photography on The Avengers, filmmaker Joss Whedon did what any sensible person would do: gather together all his best friends and shoot a low-budget, black-and-white, modern rendition of William Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing in his fancy Santa Monica home over a two-week period.

The film stars Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof (costars on Angel) as the quarreling would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick, in addition to Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, Cabin in the Woods) and newcomer Jillian Morgese playing Claudio and Hero, a budding couple that serves as the naive foil to the cynical leads.

Meanwhile, Nathan Fillion (Firefly) plays the comical officer Dogberry, Clark Gregg (The Avengers) costars as Hero’s father Leonato and Reed Diamond (Dollhouse) is Don Pedro, the man who “conspires” to get Beatrice and Benedick together at last. Meanwhile, Sean Maher (Firefly) plays Don John, the bitter man responsible for causing, well… see the title.

Watch the Much Ado About Nothing trailer, then check out the international poster:


much ado about nothing poster 570x758 Much Ado About Nothing Trailer: Avengers Director Joss Whedon Does Shakespeare

The Much Ado About Nothing trailer appears to do a good job of capturing the spirit and zesty approach of Whedon’s exercise: redesign Shakespeare’s romantic farce in a modern low-budget movie context, while also preserving the majority of the original dialogue and scenarios from The Bard’s play. Similarly, the lighting and color selections from cinematographer Jay Hunter (Paper Heart) seem effective, as do most of the actors speaking in Shakespearean tongue.

Those who caught Whedon’s project at the Toronto International Film Festival last year have been saying the movie is a winner for several months now. Basically, it sounds like fans of either Shakespeare, Joss Whedon or indie cinema (or maybe all three) should keep an eye out for this flick.


Much Ado About Nothing opens in U.S. theaters on June 7th, 2013.


Source: Yahoo! Movies

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  1. Can’t focus. Flashing back to ANGEL…

    But looks intriguing!

  2. I’ve been looking forward to this since I heard about Joss making it. and it’s Shakespeare, can’t really go wrong! :)

  3. and then Beatrice turns into Illyria and kills everyone while reciting shakespeare to a house plant.

  4. I gotta say, it looks pretty terrible (IMO). I think I’m going to prefer the one a few years back with Keneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson. (Even if I have to suffer Keanu’s “Whoah, Shakespeare” performance.)

  5. Whedon thinks he can do whatever he wants now and everyone will praise him. Well he will soon be shocked back into reality.

    • Tell that to Nolan and Cameron.

      • Nobody is talking about Nolan or Cameron.

    • Sorry,Whedon always was like this ! And he never thought he can do what ever he wants ! Surely he would love and want to,but he learned his lesson !
      He always fought for his shows and projects,and got canceled often as well.
      He makes Movies like this on a small budget and mostly for fun and passion.
      Best example is sing along !

    • What? This looks cool to me, as I am a fan of all three things the article mentioned, Whedon, Shakespeare and indie films. This is obviously not intended to be some huge cultural behemoth.

      I do not think that the post-Avengers era will have that effect on Whedon. Shocked back into reality? He already knew what he was doing long before the mega-success of the past year. His style is transferrable to any genre, I would think, not just “big special effects films,” and he has a loyal fanbase. As far as I am concerned, he can do whatever he wants, the same which cannot be said of every director.

    • It’s an independent film, you generally can do what you want. More freedoms, less interference with big companies. Kinda the idea.

  6. Stylish, well-acted, lots of flourish…

    Seems like a great piece of indie and a nice adaptation of what is easily my favorite Shakespeare play.

    This is also proof-positive that Whedon would have been a superior choice to direct “The Great Gatsby.” Well, almost anyone would be better than Baz Luhrman.

  7. This will be a snoozefest

    @Dave I agree.

  8. @Dave, Before the Avengers made the whole world notice Joss, there were millions of us who knew and loved his work from many many years ago. He’s been planning to make this movie for a long time now and it has nothing to do with his amazing success with Marvel.

  9. Looks like it might disappoint.

  10. Looks great. Can’t wait.

  11. I thought that was Peirce Brosnin on the poster.

  12. I just love that jazz song haha.. but seriously I love whedons stuff from buffy to firefly to avengers

  13. Little surprised by some of the comments. It’s a Joss Whedon film, filmed in black and white, based on a Shakespeare play, done on a low budget in the guys house. Seriously, what you you expecting? The guy is awesome and is still doing awesome things, and always will be doing awesome things. I guess the world is really just people who get Whedon, and those who don’t. Besides the guy is the reason The Avengers was the most successful comic book movie in history. He doesn’t need to prove himself.

    • You don’t have to be in a special club of people who “get” Whedon. I like a lot of his stuff, some not so much. If this is good, it’s good. If not, it’s not.

      But the jazz piano really killed it for me. (^-^) I hate jazz.

      • you are entitled to your own opinion but you are WRONG!!! jk haha but seriously jazz is awesome :D

  14. A problem of modern society is that we seem to have become hyper critical of everything and focus way too much on negative aspects instead of enjoying something for what it is. I love the poster, the “reverse” out of bound effect is nifty.

    • I Agree

    • That only works if you actually enjoy anything from the said something.

      But I kinda know what you mean.

  15. Looks pretty good. The trailer reminds me of Silver Lining’s Playbook’s trailer. Obviously the two movies aren’t the same… at all (aside from the quirkiness maybe), but somehow there is a slight similarity to the trailers… which is a good thing since SLP turned out to be great.

  16. who does that jazz song?

  17. St. Germain….yes, I answered my own question (insert embarrassment here)

    • Saint Germaine- “round midnight”

    • Sorry it’s “Rose rouge”

    • It’s awful.

      *cowers in fear from a beating from Jazz Cats with their Jazz canes*


  18. It’s most likely not going to be released in my town, so I’ll be picking it up on bluray.

  19. I think these sorts of adaptations can work quite well; even though the actors are mostly speaking the original dialog, the modern setting makes it easier to follow and enjoy, even if you still may not catch all the nuances of the words.

  20. I have not been this excited for a small budget indie film since Rian Johnson’s Brick. More big name directors like Joss Whedon should take risks and give independent film lovers something off beat, quirky, different and hopefully something truly great.

  21. I got to see this in Toronto at TIFF last fall. To all Shakespearean fans out there … the man does the Bard proud. Joss never misses a joke or touching moment.

    The fact that it was a bunch of his friends, filming a movie at his house, only adds to the chemistry of the cast.

    Can’t wait to see it again!!!

  22. So do they speak “modern” English in this film or the “olde 16th century” English?

  23. It can’t come soon enough. It’s existence without my viewing of it for as long as we have known of it has been too long.

  24. Now the only thing Whedon has done that was a disappointment is Cabin in the Woods – recognising it was somewhat a spoof of cult horror films but horror films suck in general (and no I don’t consider Buffy as horror).

    The Dollhouse Epitaph episodes are his best of the horror movie style.

  25. I am a fan of Joss, Shakespeare, and indie films but the acting in the trailer did seem to lack a bit of something… but of course that is just the trailer and doesn’t necessarily mean the movie will. One of the best versions of Much Ado About Nothing was filmed on stage w/ David Tennant and Catherine Tate. I watch it quite often and laugh every single time.

    I am hopeful that it will be good b/c it is Joss doing it and we know quite a few of the cast members as well as what they’re capable of.