FIRST LOOK

First Look: Ralph Fiennes' New Shakespeare Film Coriolanus

by
April 7, 2010
Source: 30 Ninjas

Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus First Look

Whoa! Last year it was announced that actor Ralph Fiennes would be making his debut as a director on a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Coriolanus. At the time, we didn't actually know how contemporary it would be, but thanks to these first photos from the set in Serbia, it looks like Fiennes has actually set his film around the Iraq war. Action blog 30 Ninjas has the scoop on the photos, which come from the first week's battle scenes in the Serbian city of Pancevo. Fiennes is also starring in this as the lead along with Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, William Hurt, Eddie Marsan, Jessica Chastain & Vanessa Redgrave.

Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus

Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus

Obviously comparisons are already being made to The Hurt Locker, especially because that took home the Best Picture Oscar earlier this year, and an Iraq war movie combined with Shakespeare instantly sounds like more Oscar bait. The story in Coriolanus 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 which he conquered. However, he is banished from Rome as a traitor. Coriolanus then allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city of Rome. I'm not sure how that will fit into the Iraq war, but I'm already excited.

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  • Xerxex
    with a cast like this and Fiennes at the helm it sounds like it may surprise us all, looking forward to Fiennes, Hurt, Cox, Marsan, and Butler acting together. I'm not too familiar Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain, but I'm looking forward to them as well.
  • Cody w
    Fiennes directorail debut how come I havent heard of this. If his directing skills are anywhere near his acting ones this will be awesome.
  • Dude…
    Looks pretty sweet! Not a big fan of Butler though. #2 - I know right? I hadn't heard of it either!
  • harm
    One of Shakespeares most interesting plays. The entire story is political about the role of the military in government and vice versa. That Feinnes would update and modernize this? WHOA unexpectedly can't wait!
  • brutony
    Vanessa Redgrave is an old time actress and infamous lib! PALESTINIAN SUPPORTER WHO PAYS BAIL FOR JAILED PLO TERRORISTS TO LEAVE JAIL AND JUMP BAIL!
    • KEVIN
      Palestinian "terrorists" who have been unjusticely imprisoned is more like it. Do you know that Israel is practicing genocide against the Palestinians? THEY ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR INDEPENDENCE AND THEIR VERY LIVES. DON'T YOU GET IT? Fuck Israel.
  • Lars
    You've got to be joking. Coriolanus in Iraq? Can you spell DOA?
  • TC
    Are they looking to make money on this one or just slam the military?
  • Calvin
    I'm worried about the Redgrave influence. She is the person who stood up at the Oscars and berated the world about the poor, peaceful, mistreated Palestinians. She is a radical leftist so I wonder what was her movitivation for this movie.
  • Tom
    I am very curious about this. My understanding is that Ralph Fiennes seriously considered a military career instead of acting when he was younger and is (quietly) generally positively disposed toward the armed forces and their mission. I know it's too much to hope it'll be positive toward our military efforts, but at least I hope it can be positive to our soldiers and neutral to the mission.
  • Kevin
    LOL @ #5... get a clue.
  • purveyor
    Well, last I heard Ralph Finnes political affiliation is CONSERVATIVE. Let face it. Hurt Locker is an OSCAR Winner because they hated Cameron and AVATAR and wanted to crown a women who happened to make a film that didn't take sides. SO I am thinking if Finnes makes a film that somehow supports our Troops then the film will be a big Hit or even a Blockbuster. If he doesn't it probably will wind up in the flop column.
  • jic
    "Well, last I heard Ralph Finnes political affiliation is CONSERVATIVE." If you mean that he's a supporter of the Conservative party in the UK, they're centrist-to-center-left these days. And their support of the war in Iraq was grudging, at best: it was too easy for them to paint it as 'Blair's war' when it became clear how unpopular it was with the British public. Anyway, in the stills he's wearing an American uniform, and unfortunately disdain for Americans and the American military isn't limited to the left in the UK. I don't know if Finnes feels that way; I'm just pointing out that his political affiliation doesn't rule that out, or even make it unlikely. "SO I am thinking if Finnes makes a film that somehow supports our Troops then the film will be a big Hit or even a Blockbuster." It's not clear if this is a relatively faithful version of the original play (ie, uses the original dialog) in a modern-day setting, or an all-new screenplay based on the original play. If it's the former, it has no chance of being either (Baz Luhrmann's *Romeo + Juliet* did relatively well, but it was a lowish-budget movie (around $15M) that made moderate money (around $46M). I'm sure the investors were happy, but "big hit" would be pushing it). It has more of a chance if it's the latter, but history is against it. Remember that despite its Oscar success, *The Hurt Locker* was a flop. According to Box Office Mojo, as of 22 March it had only made about $16.4M on a $15M budget. And remember, it's been out since June!
  • Cormac
    All anyone needs to know about war movies: if it is pro-American it will be a hit. If it is anti-American it will flop. We Americans just want to win one, if only in the movies.
  • jcorning
    Right on about Vanessa Redgrave! I guess it's possible this may turn out to be a fair and balanced portrayal about the Iraq war. But I somehow doubt it! How many more America is evil war films are these hollywood pin-heads going to make before they get it through their thick skulls that MOST Americans don't want to see their country being villified!? The one good thing I can say for it off the bat s it has Gerard Butler in it. The lead from one of the greatest all times movies ever made "300"! They say that hollywood only sees green. Not true. Unfortunately, their left-wing idealogy trumps their purse. Their is no other explanation for all these money losing Iraq war films being made!
  • jic
    "All anyone needs to know about war movies: if it is pro-American it will be a hit. If it is anti-American it will flop." I love pro-American war movies, and I wish they would make more of them. And yes, I think that the right movies with the right sort of promotion could revitalize the war movie. However, the idea that pro-American = hit is, unfortunately, completely false. Example: *The Great Raid*, a movie generally considered as pro-American, sank like a stone.
  • brutony
    Also, remember Vanessa RedScareGrave uttered her now infamous comment when she "won" Best Supporting Actress in 78,"Zionist Hoodlums", and a shriek went up thruout the audience, but nothing much ever became of it. Come to think of it, nothing much ever became of her so-called acting career after that, either, except to be in one of her daughters movies or TV shows, like Jolie's Nip/Tuck or her late great daughter Natasha's. This bitch is poison!
  • brutony
    Hey, Kev-YOU get a clue! THIS is why we have all these lousy liberal anti-American and Iraq war films, because of people like Redgrave!
  • Muxmac69
    Oh my god... You friggin' right-wing morons. Vanessa Redgrave is one of greatest actresses of our (or any) time, and the role of Volumina in Coriolanus is among Shakespeare's roles finest written for a woman. Do you idiots, who say things like "I love pro-American war movies" even know who William Shakespeare is??????? I knew when I read about her being cast over a year ago that she would knock it out of the park - as advance buzz about her performance after the film's world premier in Berlin has MORE than confirmed. Oh, and for those of you who think Redgrave is a washout, she has TWICE been nominated for Academy awards SINCE her win for Julia in 1977, won two Emmys, AND a Tony Award for best actress in 2003. Art will trump politics at the 2012 Oscars. Wait and see.

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