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I’ve included the full release below, or you can view the pdf here.
Santa Monica, CA (October 24th, 2011)
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. The super-impressive cast is listed below. 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.
Amy Acker - Beatrice
Alexis Denisof - Benedick
Nathan Fillion - Dogberry
Clark Gregg - Leonato
Reed Diamond - Don Pedro
Fran Kranz - Claudio
Sean Maher - Don JohnSpencer Treat Clark - Borachio
Riki Lindhome - Conrade
Ashley Johnson - Margaret
Emma Bates - Ursula
Tom Lenk - Verges
Nick Kocher - First Watchman
Brian McElhaney - Second Watchman
Joshua Zar - Leonato’s aide
Paul M. Meston - Friar Francis
Romy Rosemont - The Sexton
And introducing Jillian Morgese as Hero
On the recommendation of a friend, I think I’ll be giving Dollhouse another try. Network shows tend to fall off my radar when I get too busy with work—the first season of Dollhouse fell victim to this phenomena, as did Fringe. The list of new guest stars for Season 2 of Dollhouse includes some of my favorites from BSG, as well as Alexis Denisof (aka Wesley Wyndam-Pryce!), making for some very compelling reasons to catch up before the premiere. Will Dollhouse become a casting chimera of past Whedon shows and BSG?
Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer lives on in comic book form, and the latest volume “Time of Your Life” came out last month. It’s been a while since I read vol. 3, which I probably should have re-read, but once I got about a third of the way through tangled memories of what had previously happened to the gang slowly came back to me (including Buffy’s big scene at the end of vol. 3. Uh-huh). Without giving away all the fun stuff, let’s just say that a certain somebody goes dark (I suppose the cover kind of gives that away), and there’s time travel!
Warren Ellis’s Freak Angels is a wildly fun read, and the artwork is simply stunning. A post-apocalyptic world rendered in muted shades of lavender, brown, and grey, this free (free!) web series follows the lives of a rather gifted group of individuals, all connected by mysterious powers and their complicity in bringing about the end of the world. While I love that new installments appear (almost) every week, it’s still more fun (for me at least) to hold the actual book in my hand. Suffice it say, I’ll be picking up Vol. 2 of Freak Angels next time I make it to Capital City Comics.
If there’s any ship in the verse I’d like to live on, it’s Serenity. That kitchen gives me the chills every time I see it, with the old wooden table in the middle, the mismatched chairs, the strange utilitarian cabinets that hold everything in place. I’m totally in love with this ship. It may not have the amenities of the Enterprise, but damn, it’s got one hell of a living room. Plus that pull out wall-toilet? Space-saving madness! Serenity gets bonus points for envisioning what living in space might realistically look like. No sanitized cabins with galaxy views and postmodern furniture. Just the same old stuff you had on Earth, but crammed into your crew quarters.
I know. Realistic + science fiction? Crazy! Oh wait…
If you, like me, are fantasizing about someday turning your incredibly tiny apartment into a Serenity inspired alcove of awesomeness, check out this site for useful screenshots, ship plans, and other goodies.