Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon)

So I don’t usually like to shill on my blog; those of you who read this regularly (Mom and sometimes one other guy) know that this is usually a forum for my completely biased and random ramblings.

But today the trailer was released for the upcoming “Much Ado About Nothing”, a project I’ve been following closely since I first heard about it in late 2011, and I realize that most people probably aren’t aware of the story behind the film. Or, you know, the film itself. So sit back, dear reader(s?), it’s story-time.

Joss Whedon is someone who I’ve been a big fan of for some time. A writer/director, he’s put pen to paper often, creating some of the more interesting (if non-mainstream) television out there. This includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and my personal, all-time favorite series Firefly. The latter spawned the feature Serenity (directed by Whedon) and he also wrote the original Toy Story, among others.

Oh, and he did write and direct a little movie which came out last year; you may have heard of The Avengers. If not, I have to question where you were in May, as it churned up a record $207 million on opening weekend in the US alone and passed the $1 billion mark worldwide in an unprecedented 19 days. It was also only his second feature film as a director.

It’s safe to say that Joss, who had a cult following beforehand, is now safely into the mainstream. He has a pilot at ABC, a show about the S.H.I.E.L.D program (starring a character many of you think is dead, but not so much), has already been signed up for The Avengers 2 (due out 2015) and can pretty much write his own ticket anywhere.

So how does a man like Joss Whedon celebrate his success?

In October 2011, he returned home to Santa Monica after months of filming The Avengers in New Mexico, got all of his acting buddies together, and made a Shakespeare movie.

At his house.

Yes, seriously.

It seems that Whedon, master of off-beat sci-fi, has an affinity for The Bard (or you could say he’s a fan-boy). He’s hosted Shakespeare nights at his house often, often inviting actors he’s worked with over the years. I read somewhere (but can’t remember where) that also wanted to do a film for a long time, but for one reason or another it just didn’t work out.

“At first it was just fun. He likes to do stuff like that. He likes to have people over and do Shakespeare readings,” frequent collaborator Fran Kranz (Dollhouse, Cabin in the Woods) told HuffPost Entertainment last year (and I swiped this quote from them). “He and his wife are constantly hosting. You go to his house and there are always people there. I would never be comfortable with having a movie shot at my house but he embraces it. So I think it started as one thing and now it’s this movie that people are asking about. I’m like, “I just got an email to come over one day.” Now it’s turned into a thing.”

Joining Whedon and Kranz were Nathan Fillion (Firefly, now on Castle), Amy Acker (Dollhouse), Clark Gregg (The Avengers), Reed Diamond (Dollhouse) and Alex Denisof (too many Whedon projects to count), among others. The film was shot by Whedon himself over 12 days. The project wasn’t even heard of until it was in the can and Fillion tweeted out a tease to his over 1 million Twitter followers, which confused even the most dedicated followers of film.

Whedon has a way of playing with language that I really enjoy; he can turn a phrase with the best of them. So I suppose it’s not all that surprising that he digs Shakespeare’s style; while Much Ado is set in modern day (you know, a house in Santa Monica), he apparently maintains all of the original dialogue.

Much Ado About Nothing (@MuchAdoFilm on Twitter, which was taken over by Whedon himself today) hit the Toronto Film Festival in September of 2012, and was picked up for distribution by Lionsgate. It will be released in the US on June 7.

Oh, want to see the trailer? See below. WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed a Yahoo video (even the exclusive ones), so I grabbed one off of YouTube. But since this is likely a bootleg, if it vanishes, you can view it at Yahoo by clicking here.