Late yesterday afternoon actors Nathan Fillion and Alyson Hannigan announced on their official Twitter profiles that director/writer/god Joss Whedon has completed principle shooting of a new film version of the William Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing. That’s right, in the midst of Joss’s work directing The Avengers (which still isn’t completely finished), Whedon managed to film Much Ado in its entirety for release (I am presuming) sometime next year. AND, while that news in and of itself is very exciting … for me, this announcement is doubly exciting because I can now reveal to you all that I not only was able to be on set for this Much Ado shoot but I was also able to be an EXTRA IN THE FILM!
@NathanFillion Oh, it’s real. Very. Very. Real. muchadothemovie.com
There is much about the film that I do not know (like, for example, when it will be released … and how it will be released) but there are a few things that I can share. My good friends Emma and Josh have roles in the film and it was their inclusion that allowed me to be brought on board as an extra. I filmed for 2 days — for the wedding scene and for the funeral scene.
As for the cast, Amy Acker (Angel) will play Beatrice and Alexis Denisof (Angel) will play Benedict. Fran Kranz (Dollhouse) will play Claudio and newcomer Jillian Morgese (The Avengers) will play Hero. Nathan Fillion (Firefly) is Dogberry, Clark Gregg (The Avengers) is Leonato, Reed Diamond (Dollhouse) is Don Pedro — and my friends Emma Bates will play Ursula and Joshua Zar will play Leonato’s Aide. I got to meet and work with members of his inner circle not to mention all of the Buffyverse actors who are cast in this film (Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Tom Lenk, Nathan Fillion, etc.). To say it was a dream come true would be an understatement. I have other stories to share … but those will come a bit later.
So yeah … Joss Whedon will put his spin on Much Ado About Nothing and THAT is very, very exciting. That I was able to be a tiny part of that experience is just … too much. Now, there’s no way of knowing if my appearance will “make the cut” (literally) but it was a thrill, I can assure you.
Get EXCITED, y’all!! Joss is doing Shakespeare! I know I, for one, am DYING to see this film!!
UPDATE: Here is the official press release announcement:
Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors – some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.
Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter (PAPER HEART, “Dollhouse”), the film stars Amy Acker (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Alias”) and Alexis Denisof (“How I Met Your Mother”, “Angel”) as Beatrice and Benedick, the world’s least likely lovers headed for their inevitable tumble into love. As Joss Whedon puts it: “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter – to the text, to the cast, even to the house it’s shot in.” The supporting cast includes Nathan Fillion (“Castle”, WAITRESS) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (AVENGERS, IRON MAN) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Dollhouse”) as Claudio and Reed Diamond (“Franklin & Bash”, MONEYBALL) as Don Pedro.
The film was produced by Whedon, line-produced by Nathan Kelly and M. Elizabeth Hughes, and co-produced by Kai Cole and Danny Kaminsky. Full tech credits (for the extraordinary crew) will be up shortly. The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.