Gerard Butler Cast in Ralph Fiennes' Shakespeare Film Coriolanus
by Alex Billington
November 4, 2009
Way back in February it was announced that actor Ralph Fiennes would make his debut as a director on a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Coriolanus. THR announces, from the on-going American Film Market this week, that Gerard Butler has been cast in the lead role opposite Fiennes, who will also be acting as well as directing. Butler will play Tullus Aufidius, commander of the Volscian army. He joins a cast that includes William Hurt, Eddie Marsan, Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave. The script was written by John Logan (Gladiator, The Last Samurai). Shooting starts in March next year in Serbia.
Coriolanus is a play that's not often taught in schools and most people probably haven't read. It's set in the early years of the Roman Republic, however it sounds like Fiennes has contemporized it instead. The story follows Roman military leader Caius Martius, who returns home from a war against the Volscans as a war hero with a new last name, Coriolanus, given for the city of Corioles which he conquered. However, after an attempt at political office turns sour, he is banished from Rome as a traitor. Hungry for revenge, Coriolanus becomes leader of the Volscan army and marches to the gates of Rome, but is stopped at the last minute.
I've been in the mood to see another good Shakespeare adaptation, and between this and Emile Hirsch's Hamlet, I'm quite excited to see Shakespeare on the big screen once again. This has a great cast, including Butler and Marsan, I just hope Fiennes is as great of a director as he is an actor. Stay tuned for updates!