Joss Whedon’s latest release, Much Ado About Nothing, is a far cry from the director/writer/producer’s past work. Best known for his contributions to films like The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods, as well as the cult-classic television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon’s 2011 confirmation that he was set to both direct and produce the latest film version of Much Ado About Nothing seemed to announce the Hollywood-factotum’s traversing of yet another entertainment terrain: the Shakespearean adaptation.
Shot over an impressively swift 12 days at Whedon’s Santa Monica abode, the film stars Whedon- and fan-favorites Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg. Tickets for the SIFF viewing of the film sold out within a record-breaking 6 hours of their release on April 8th, ultimately screening for a crowd of 3,000 this past Thursday. Translating Shakespeare’s plays and their many complexities to contemporary audiences is oftentimes a difficult task, as displayed by box-office failures like Kenneth Branagh’s 2000 Love’s Labour’s Lost and Julie Taymor’s 2010 The Tempest.
While some may have doubted the success of Whedon’s transition from superheroes to Shakespeare, the enthusiasm present throughout the screening’s opera house venue banished all cynicism. Viewers laughed and cheered throughout Whedon’s film, proving that his fans are more than okay with adding a Shakespearean adaptation to the Whedonverse’s résumé.
Much Ado About Nothing opens on June 7th in the U.S. and June 14th in the U.K.