(* Ok, please tell me somebody gets that reference.)
I just read today that former Disney princess and modern day movie darling Anne Hathaway is signed on to a new Taming of the Shrew movie? How cool would that be? The article suggests that she’ll of course play Katharina, which I suppose make sense given her star power — I think the only other role would be Bianca, and that’s very much just a supporting role.
But two questions spring immediately to mind. First, who should be her Petruchio? Obviously this movie’s going to skew to a younger audience so I don’t think we’ll see any Russell Crowes or Ralph Fiennes’ stepping up. How about Chris Hemsworth, the dude that played Thor? There’s already a bit of ol’ Shakespeare about much of his dialogue anyway. He’s got the rough sound and look about him that he might be able to play Petruchio.
Second question – do we think that anybody’s ever going to match Liz Taylor and Richard Burton? That wasn’t just a haphazard hookup of who happened to be hot in Hollywood (see what I did there? Ha!). They were on a completely different level than that, and it showed. The fact that it was Shakespeare was really just a bonus — wasn’t that the first (and only?) Shakespeare that she ever did? Burton was a different story, of course.
When Kenneth Branagh or David Tenant (feel free to borrow some N’s from each other, boys, I can never remember how to spell either of your names) makes with the modern Shakespeare, I think we see it differently. They are Shakespeareans, and decades from now students will discuss their interpretations alongside Olivier. But … is Anne Hathaway the next Dame Judi Dench or Helen Mirren? Do young actors today have the Royal Shakespeare Company to fall back on, to produce the next Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen?