Cymbeline is a 2013 modern re-telling of a 1623 Shakespeare play written and directed by Michael Almereyda and starring Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Before Midnight). Michael Almereyda was responsible for adapting and directing a fairly polarizing modern take on Hamlet in 2000 which also starred Hawke.
Michael Almereyda was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Creative Arts, so it’s no wonder his films lean toward the artistic over the populist. Cymbeline is a little known Shakespearean tragedy, among the bard’s later (and possibly final) works. This is it’s first big screen treatment, and Almereyda has chosen to give it a Sons of Anarchy by way of Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet slant. The story, produced by Anthony Katagas and Michael Benaroya, is filled with mystery, treachery, love and of course betrayal and deceit.
Dakota Johnson, soon to be seen in Fifty Shades of Grey, stars as Imogen, the daughter of Cymbeline, a biker gang kingpin played by Academy Award nominee Ed Harris (Pollock, Apollo 13), and his conniving wife played by Milla Jovovoch (Resident Evil: Retribution). Defying her father, Imogen elopes with her true love, Posthumus, a quality man of low birth played by Penn Badgley of Gossip Girl, and the gang wars and machine gun battles begin.
Ethan Hawke is having a stellar year with his second sequel to Before Sunrise , the critically acclaimed Before Midnight with Julie Delpy, and the largest box office opening ($34 million) of his career for Blumhouse’s The Purge. He has just committed to the German twin writing and directing team of Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers, Undead) for the science fiction film Predestination about a time-traveling agent’s last assignment.
Milla Jovovich is currently filming Resident Evil 6, written, directed and produced by her husband, Paul Anderson.
Watch the trailer for Cymbeline here: