Joss Whedon Secretly Made a New Film - 'Much Ado About Nothing'
by Alex Billington
October 24, 2011
Wait, back up a minute, Joss Whedon - director of Marvel's The Avengers (which has been shooting) - made another film? When?! Announced via the Whedon regulars (e.g. Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Sean Maher) on twitter recently, a new website has popped up for a project titled Much Ado About Nothing - indeed based on the William Shakespeare play, a "film by Joss Whedon" - that has purportedly reached the "completion of principal photography." The cast features Acker, Fillion, Alexis Denisof and many others. I'm not sure whether to believe this is real, but Fillion tweets "Oh, it's real. Very. Very. Real." What is this?
You can visit the site at muchadothemovie.com - there's not much there besides that snorkeler/martini image with the info we're talking about presented on it. The measurable cast includes: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Nick Kocher, Brian McElhaney, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz, Emma Bates and Tom Leny. All it says otherwise is "Bellwether Pictures is proud to announced the complete of principal photography." Most places, even THR, are treating this as real news, so it must be a film he shot and made at some point, perhaps before Avengers. But they also mention "some speculated that it might be his follow-up to the web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," as well. You never know…
You can head to twitter to see if there's any more updates. This could be anything from a real Whedon film based on the Shakespeare play about two pairs of lovers; to a viral cover-up for Avengers or even something like The Cabin in The Woods, to a setup or concept for an upcoming "film-ish" project, like that Dr. Horrible web series. My feeling is it might be closer to the latter, but only time will tell. All the actors involved definitely seem to be hyping it up, so there must be some realism to it. We'll keep an eye out and will follow the site for any updates, if they come. Has anyone heard of this before? Can it really be a Whedon film?
Update: Looks like it's real! Whedon has confirmed the news and put out a full press release. Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on Much Ado About Nothing, a modern version of Shakespeare's classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon. Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.
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, Serenity, Slither) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (Avengers, Choke) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods, "Dollhouse") as Claudio and Reed Diamond ("Franklin & Bash", Moneyball) as Don Pedro. Whedon expects the film to play the festival circuit next year, "because it is fancy." Well there you go!