As a general rule when it comes to Shakespeare, I’m more of a tragedy guy. Something about his ability to truly peel back the skin and expose the wickedness beneath has always appealed to me for some reason. That said, of his non-tragedies, I’m quite fond of The Tempest, so news that it’s been adapted into a major motion picture was pretty intriguing.
News that Julie Taymor was directing basically made it a must-see for me. I’m already on record as loving her brutally twisted, yet still gorgeous adaptation of Titus, her film debut. Love or hate the film, Taymor has a gift for visuals and style that is simply amazing, and her pull-no-punches vision was near-terrifying. While The Tempest isn’t the violent gorefest that Titus is, it’s still deals with some pretty dark themes — treason, attempted rape, and slavery for starters — but it also has its share of lightheartedness and charm. It’s got great potential in Taymor’s hands.
The cast is an interesting one, and the most controversial choice will of course be that of the lead — Prospero has been changed to Prospera, but before you get your iambic panties in a twist, keep in mind she’s being played by Helen Mirren. I’ve got no issue with that. Additionally, the film stars Felicity Jones, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina, Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, Alan Cumming, and Russell Brand (eek!). Brand aside, that is a fucking beast of a cast. The presence of Cooper and Strathairn in the same film makes me swoon a bit, I admit.
Anyway, here’s the poster. It is, unsurprisingly remarkable and utterly beautiful (particularly that first panel).
After spending some time in studio purgatory in the aftermath of Miramax’s financial woes, The Tempest has found a home (Touchstone Pictures) and a release date (December 10th).
(source: The Playlist)