Andy Serkis & Nick Cave Making a Mo-Cap 'Threepenny Opera'

February 15, 2010
Source: ScreenDaily

Andy Serkis / The Threepenny Opera

A few of you may be wondering what I'm talking about, which is exactly what I'll get into soon. Truth be told, before writing this, I didn't know what The Threepenny Opera was either, but I'm here to explain. ScreenDaily is reporting (from the Berlin Film Festival) that Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill's German musical The Threepenny Opera is being adapted for the big screen by actor Andy Serkis and musician Nick Cave. They don't reveal much about the project in the article on ScreenDaily, but the announcement was officially made today in "its hometown," as The Threepenny Opera was first performed in Berlin in 1928. Read on!

What is The Threepenny Opera? Set in Victorian London, it's a musical comedy based on The Beggar's Opera that offers a Marxist critique of the capitalist world. From Wikipedia: "The Threepenny Opera is a work of epic theatre—captions are projected on the back wall and the characters sometimes carry picket-signs. It challenges conventional notions of property as well as those of theatre. It dramatises the question: 'Who is the greater criminal: he who robs a bank or he who founds one?'" The story follows Macheath, aka Mack the Knife, as he marries Polly Peachum and then deals with the wrath of her father, who attempts to use his control over London's beggars to have Mack hanged. The score in it was deeply influenced by jazz.

This is a fascinating idea and I'm interested to know more about it, including who is writing and directing, who is working on the music (it's likely that Nick Cave will be doing the music) and who will be starring in it (it's likely that Andy Serkis will be doing most of the acting). And now that I know about The Threepenny Opera, I'm glad I'll be able to see a contemporary version of it. I'm fascinated by all of this because it seems like a great collaboration and because it's motion capture, which may be cool to see considering they were inspired by Avatar or Tintin or Yellow Submarine. We'll let you know if we hear anything else. Thoughts?

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How are they going to justify the cost of an entirely mo-cap animated film, about a play that critiques capitalism? Do you think they will have the picket signs in 3D oh I hope so.

Guy on Feb 15, 2010


Nick Cave did fantastic writing on The Proposition. psyched for this.

Al on Feb 15, 2010


Just realized its an attack on capitalism. Im getting pretty sick of wealthy elitist, who are doing far better than me financially, attacking a system that served them very well.

Al on Feb 15, 2010


I can't wait to hear Nick Cave's interpretation of the songs. Kurt Weill music is amazing, and I'm sure Andy Serkis will make a great Mac the Knife, he's always a lot of fun to watch.

Paul on Feb 15, 2010


Saw Sting on Broadway playing Mac the Knife. The production itself was awful, but its still a great show. Lots of potential here. Could be very steampunk in design.

OutofNormal on Feb 18, 2010


For a truly amazing interpretation of this show, check out the 1994 Donmar Warehouse production, recorded by Jay Records

Rich on Apr 11, 2012

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