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Dirty Elizabethan Puns And Adorable Behind-The-Scenes Photos Make Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' Book A Must Have

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | October 3, 2013 | Comments ()


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Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespeare play. Joss Whedon is one of my favorite human beings. So let’s take what follows with that myopic mountain of salt, shall we? YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. If you don’t have a copy of Mucho Ado lying around (I do, several, shut up that’s not the point) then this is probably one you want to own. The book (from Titan, on sale October 8th, reserve your copy from your local indie bookshop today!) includes the full screenplay, an introduction from Joss, a fun interview with Joss and the aforementioned adorable behind-the-scenes photos. I’ve included a few of my favorite snaps below, but before you go drooling on Amy Acker, here are a few fun extracts from the extras.

The most surprising bit of the book is probably Joss’s delightfully self-effacing introduction where he confesses having stalled out on making the movie because he felt he couldn’t crack the play. That’s right. Storytelling phenom, Joss Whedon, felt he couldn’t get a fresh take (or any take) on Shakespeare. But crack it he did. Whedon explains:

I walked across the street from the rubbled Manhattan Avengers location and bought a copy of the play (actually, Danny bought it. My wallet was in my trailer. I still haven’t paid him back. I never will! Suck it, Kaminsky!) and then it was in my pocket, and then it was in my head, and then I had the movie and the rest is a footnote in history. Thinking that the play was actually about nothing is like complaining that the titular character never shows up in Waiting For Godot. (Spoiler alert: he doesn’t show.) There was so much something in the text…so much life and pain and duplicity and pain and such high-pain-jinks, there was no way I couldn’t film it. This was the most cynically romantic piece I’d read. It completely obliterated the tropes of romantic loves, while ultimately championing love itself. This was me talking about me. This was meat. I was in.

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And then what followed, once Joss Whedon cracked the play wide open, was a dizzying display of love. Love of the text, of his wife, his house, his friends (aka the cast) and the art of storytelling. Joss Whedon, he of phenomenal fame, just put on a show. Because he could. The in-depth interview in the book is a delight to read because it not only helps you understand Whedon’s approach to telling this story, but also gives you untold insight into his process on the whole. And if you’re already a die-hard Whedon fan or a Shakespeare nut, you’ll devour his stories of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer days where, any given Sunday, you could find Joss playing Iago to J. August Richards’ Othello in the Whedon backyard.

If those of you who “don’t get” Whedon ever wonder why he’s developed such a slavish following, this book should help you bust that conundrum wide open. It’s the not the witty patter of his dialogue or the profound geekiness he puts on display. It’s the amount of love he pours into everything he does. That patter? That geekiness? Those are expressions of love too. Love of language and of pop-culture. He makes the actors he works with family. He produced this film (not my favorite production of Much Ado but still an effervescent and delightful take) in his home with his family. And he did it for himself. But he gave it to us. And that’s why we love Joss and that’s why you should read this book.

Finally, these are just a few of the behind-the-scenes photos from the set. They’ll only tell you what you already know. Joss is having an amazing time, Amy Acker is one of the most gloriously beautiful women on earth and hugs from Nathan Fillion look like they smell of cookies and cognac.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Sarah Weissman

    I am a geek for Whedon, his actors and Shakespeare. I may have to purchae this...

  • Bothari

    Okay, I love all things Whedon and I love all those people pictured above, but did anybody else have a problem with this version of Much Ado? I mean, if you're going to have it set now, with people fiddling on their smartphones and wearing suits and such, it just seemed really jarring to have the main point of conflict remain the fact that the blushing bride might not be a virgin. Gasp! It just seemed like the tearing of the hair and gnashing of the teeth over poor Hero - especially if this was supposed to be modern times - was way way way too much. With the fatherly shame and the fainting and possible death and crying and wailing...that stuff just shouldn't happen now.

    I would've understood if they'd tried to make it more about the cheating angle (since it was the night before her wedding and all), but no, they kept it all about her maidenhood. It bothered me, and then I felt treasonous for not wholeheartedly loving the whole project. They were all delightful to watch, though!

  • denesteak

    Ah! Now I want this!

  • You had me at pictures of Amy Acker. She has the most incredible smile. Infectious in a good way.

  • I think I'll be asking for this for Christmas...

  • Tinkerville

    Amy Acker has one of the best smiles in the history of smiles.

  • John W

    Amy Acker is so too much....

  • BWeaves

    Nathan Fillion is not fat, he's just big boned. Ahem.

  • I have no doubt this book is worth owning. Titan also put out the Cabin in the Woods making of book and that is just a glorious thing that I can highly recommend.

  • Billybob

    So, the internet should probably be renaming Fat Nathan Fillion as Hug-Size Nathan Fillion.

  • emmalita

    The Internet should not be fat-shaming Nathan Fillion, he is glorious as he is. I just wish he were glorious in a different show. Love the Fillion, hate the Castle.

  • I used to enjoy the Castle, but have long since given up on it. I feel slightly guilty because Fillion, but not enough to watch.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ah, I watched this week for the first time in a while, and they did the old "he's-been-poisoned-she-has-24-hours -to-find-the-antidote."

    If they are trying to have fun with cliches, they aren't having enough fun.

  • emmalita

    It goes on when I'm doing a massive cleaning project. But sometimes it goes off because I can't take Beckett.

  • koko temur

    The highest of fives to you. She is awful and you cant help but liking castle less because he is in love with her.

  • Xander

    I will give money for anything involving Amy Acker..speaking of which can we talk more about how awesome she is as Root on Person of Interest?

  • I fast forwarded through the entire show the other day because she wasn't in it.

  • I may need to start watching Person of Interest. I stopped at the end of Season 1.

  • Xander

    You really should. Amy Acker on it is one of the best things you can imagine and she was good they made her a regular in the new season

  • Willow

    I only watch because of her.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I love this exchange so much.

  • Zen

    Nailed it.

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