Ralph Fiennes Directing Adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus
by Alex Billington
February 7, 2009
Voldemort is going to direct a movie! Oscar nominated actor Ralph Fiennes, who plays Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies, will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Roman tragedy Coriolanus. In addition to directing, Fiennes will also play the title role of the proud but contemptuous soldier Coriolanus spurred on by his mother to run for the Roman Senate, which ultimately leads to his downfall. Vanessa Redgrave is in talks to play the part of Coriolanus' mother Volumnia. Fiennes has already scouted for locations in East Europe and is currently in negotiations with financiers.
Shakespeare's play, set in the early years of the Roman Republic, is one of his most politically challenging examinations of the way power corrupts. In the aftermath of a famine, the people demand the right to set their own price for the city's grain. In response to their protests, the ruling aristocracy grant the plebeians five representatives -- a decision that provokes the ire of Caius Martius, who has nothing but contempt for the lower classes. After winning a war against a neighboring tribe, he is granted the name Coriolanus, and returns with the hope of joining the Senate. You can pick up a copy of the play on Amazon.
As for Ralph Fiennes directing, who knows if he's got as much talent behind the camera as he does in front. All I know is that I'm rarely excited for Shakespeare adaptations unless they really are extraordinary.