UPDATE! There’s a press release. Either that is new, or it was hidden or something because I didn’t see anybody mention it a few hours ago.
Looks like this is the real deal – contains the cast breakdown and everything. Shot in black and white in just a couple of weeks, by a new studio that’s going to focus on exactly this kind of festival-friendly indie film. Should be completed in the spring. Awesome!
Geeks of all types are abuzz this morning about the news that Joss Whedon has managed to crank out a Shakespeare movie in secret, in his spare time: Much Ado, The Movie
Whedon is legend among the geeky set for his work on Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, and if this movie is the real deal he brings with him his regular cast of players including Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Tom Lenk and Amy Acker.
Here’s the thing, though. Everybody’s wondering if it’s the real thing, or an elaborate joke. Some points to consider:
* The man’s in the middle of The Avengers, the biggest comic book movie in a generation of comic book movies. And he managed to sneak in a Shakespeare movie in his spare time?
* He did it entirely in secret. Who does that these days? How does a cast of characters like that manage to evade all of the gossip rags for however long it took, without word getting out?
* The only evidence that we have is a screen shot (which, obviously, could be fake), and the cast all tweeting “It’s real!” which, of course, they would do if they were in on the joke.
* The screen shot, if you didn’t notice, never mentions Shakespeare. It just says “Based on a play.” So either that’s a very low key “Look at us, we’re doing Shakespeare!” or it’s part of the joke and this is not a Shakespeare project.
* Interesting choice of play. The title itself could be the joke, no? The world gets all excited about what they think is a Shakespeare movie, and it turns out to be something completely different? Much Ado About Nothing, no?
One curious point — back on Oct 9 I spotted Nathan Fillion making Shakespeare references on Twitter. That clearly came and went with no buzz (unlike last night), so maybe that wasn’t part of the joke, maybe that was real? But if so, what the heck? He’s reciting Shakespeare on 10/9 and by 10/23 filming is complete? Does it really happen that quickly?
Here’s my guess, for the record – I think it is real. I think that it’s probably going to be a web project, like their Dr. Horrible from a few years back. I think that, as a bunch of friends, they all basically got together in Whedon’s back yard (figuratively speaking) and banged it out. That way it’s quick, it’s among friends – easy to keep it a secret and do it during downtime. No one said it was a *big* project.
Let’s see how I do.