WATCH: Joss Whedon Trades In S.H.I.E.L.D. For Shakespeare And Makes A Woody Allen Movie

Much Ado About Nothing Joss Whedon

I'd love to see a Venn diagram of the intersection of two subsets: moviegoers who saw The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, and those who plan to see his interpretation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no intersection at all, just one big circle (The Avengers) and one little circle (Much Ado) sitting next to each other, but I give Whedon credit for taking time out of his blockbuster career — 12 days, to be exact — to make this labor of love and present the Bard in a contemporary setting.

And yet, based on a handful of viewings of this trailer, Much Ado looks self-conscious and pretentious. Shot in black-and-white and — at least on this trailer — adorned with a jazzy soundtrack, the movie looks like Whedon's interpretation of a Woody Allen film. And a lot of the actors do their scenes with a look in their eyes that says, I'm doin' Shakespeare, bitches!

The cast includes The Cabin In The Woods star Amy Acker as Beatrice, Alexis Denisof as Benedick,  late S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson, Clark Gregg, playing Leonato,  Nathan Fillion, of Serenity, in the role of Dogberry, and Sean Maher as Don John.

Follow Frank DiGiacomo on Twitter.

Follow Movieline on Twitter.


  • Cally says:

    I'd imagine the one little circle would have a a large portion of it sat inside the big circle, because any people who are specifically fans of Joss Whedon's work that plan to see Much Ado, have also probably seen The Avengers. An appreciation of Shakespeare and superheroes is not mutually exclusive.

    • Dirk says:

      Well said. I wouldn't jump at seeing it from the trailer, but I think it looks light and fun. Black and white might could be an arbitrary choice, for all I know, but perhaps it's to take people out of the norm and prep them for the dialogue.

    • badblokebob says:

      Almost word for word what I came down here to say!

      However, I do agree with the article in that I don't think the trailer actually looks that good. Still, Whedon + Much Ado means I'll definitely see it at some point.

      • Cally says:

        Hmm I think for me the trailer looks what it is; budget. But I still hope that the film itself, once cleared of the need to be snappy/gimmicky, will work well. If the the source material and the acting talents are allowed to shine it should work. I liked the music used but I'm not sure how much I liked it for this. Time will tell I guess.

  • canadian ninja says:

    But seriously, based on viewings of the trailer the movie's a trailer for pete's sake. Also, Shakespeare is not something that can be de-pretensed (?). Even prose Shakespeare.

  • bobb says:

    "...a graphic representation of the intersection of two subsets..." Why all this needless verbiage? Were you trying to pad, or did you seriously think readers wouldn't know what a "Venn diagram" is?

    • Frank DiGiacomo says:

      Actually, that was the term I was looking for but couldn't remember. Thank you. I'm updating now.

  • max hawthorne says:

    this looks TERRIBLE. the acting is so stiff they might as well be cardboard cutouts. the cinematography is obvious. the black and white and smooth-jazz overlay are SO pretentious it's a cliche of pretension. Whedon prob read the play once and decided to make it a craft project ....looks like it was thrown together in a week....wait.....

  • Yaele says:

    Wow, that's a lot of uncalled for snark, Mr. DiGiacomo. And I love that looking like Woody Allen is a bad thing. Anyway any familiarity with Whedon's work would tell you doing shakespeare is not stepping away from his avengers ways. I mean most of that movies is powerful people discussing the ethics of ... well ... power, sounds like any bard you've heard of?
    Also a quick google search would have given you 3 hundred articles from your colleagues pointing out just that.
    This tidbit is an obvious unthought prejudiced commentary, I feel youtube is enough of a provider, don't you?