“Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”
There is an artful moment during the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey. Sen. Angus King, (I) Maine, asked if Trump saying he hoped the Flynn investigation would go away was a direction. And Comey quotes the famous line attributed to Henry II, and which floats within Shakespeare’s Richard II: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” The senator said he was thinking of the same quote.
King Henry II wished that a priest would go away. That was Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The next day, that priest was murdered, honoring the king’s wish. King Trump “hopes” for something, that the investigation of Michael Flynn would go away, an inappropriate suggestion, even for royalty.
Joss Whedon’s contemporary take on “Much Ado About Nothing” has been picked up by Lionsgate. As reported by Deadline.com, Lionsgate acquired North American distribution rights to Joss Whedon’s low budget Shakespearean romp which played at the Toronto International Film Festival last weekend. It is packed with wonderful actors that have a history with Whedon, like Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof pictured below. And the look of the movie, judging by these stills, is lush and something to look forward to.
Here is a charming press release from last year, just after completion of principal photography:
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 fancy.
There’s a wonderful interview with Joss Whedon conducted by the editor of Rookie, 15-year-old Tavi Gevinson. It is a remarkable piece in that it brings out the key facts we’ll enjoy knowing about “Much Ado About Nothing,” like it was filmed entirely in Joss Whedon’s home and Shakespeare’s work plays a very important role in Whedon’s life and his group of actors. But, beyond that, Ms. Gevinson gets Mr. Whedon to open up about his childhood, the girl avatar in his work, and a bunch of silly and human stuff that would not emerge in a more standard interview. So, congrats to Rookie and Tavi Gevinson.