With the release of The Avengers earlier this year, Joss Whedon finally earned the clout that so many fanboys have felt he has deserved since he created the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series in the late '90s. The Marvel superhero team-up instantly transformed him into one Hollywood's most sought-after storytellers and, of course, led directly to his involvement in Phase Two of Marvel's plans, including the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show and The Avengers 2.
However, instead of immediately delving back into the blockbuster game, Whedon – being the ambitious auteur that he is (after all, this is the man who turned a writer's strike into the chance to make Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) – chose to spend 12 days shooting a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic play Much Ado About Nothing. We've known about the film's existence for roughly a year, and Lionsgate has already picked up distribution rights. Now, we finally have confirmation that the film will hit theaters on June 7th, 2013.
Here's a brief description of the film:
Shakespeare's classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Joss Whedon's film, 'Much Ado About Nothing.' Shot in just 12 days (and using the original text), the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.
Writer, director, and producer Joss Whedon hits the big screen again with this inventive, modern-day version of one of William Shakespeare's most beloved plays. Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof ) have just returned home to Messina after a successful campaign abroad. When earnest Claudio announces his adoration for the lovely Hero (Jillian Morgese), daughter of Messina's governor Leonato (Clark Gregg), the acid-tongued Benedick teases him mercilessly. Benedick's scorn for love is matched by that of his long-time nemesis and verbal sparring partner Beatrice (Amy Acker), Leonato's niece. As the lovestruck Claudio and Hero make plans to marry, Benedick and Beatrice resume the "merry war" of insults they have long waged. Yet there are many who believe that for all their antagonism - or even because of it - this pair of incessantly sniping cynics is surely meant to be a couple. As matchmaking schemes are put into play and disguises are donned, loathing and love soon prove to be close cousins.
Longtime Whedon fans will recognize that a number of Much Ado's cast members are alumni from his various other projects. Acker alone has appeared in Angel, Dollhouse and Cabin in the Woods (which Whedon co-wrote), and Gregg, of course, appeared in The Avengers as fan favorite Agent Phil Coulson (a role he'll reprise on the S.H.I.E.L.D. series).
There's essentially no chance that Much Ado About Nothing will be anything more than a modest hit at the box office, seeing as its source material and low-budget production values are better suited to the independent circuit. However, Whedon has had a phenomenal year, with both Avengers and Cabin in the Woods scoring rave reviews and box office success. If nothing else, the man deserves the opportunity to pursue passion projects such as this. If audiences respond well to his latest endeavor, consider that a bonus.
Will you be seeing Whedon and friends' production of Much Ado About Nothing next summer? Sound off below.
Much Ado About Nothing will be released in theaters on June 7th, 2013. Stay tuned for more details on the film as this story develops.