Drumroll, please…SIFF announced today that the 39th Seattle International Film Festival will open with Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Confirmed to attend Opening Night on May 16 are director Whedon and the stars of the film: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, and Clark Gregg.
Shakespeare’s classic comedy is given a contemporary spin in Whedon’s Much Ado. Shot in just 12 days (and using the original text), the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick offers a dark, sexy, and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.
“I could not be happier that the Seattle International Film Festival will be opening this year with Much Ado About Nothing,” said Much Ado star Alexis Denisof, who stars as Benedick in the film. “I grew up in Seattle, and it is where all my dreams of being an actor began. Bringing this movie to my hometown is a very special occasion.”
Upon completion of principal photography for Marvel’s The Avengers, Joss Whedon found himself contractually obligated to take some time off before continuing with post-production. It was during that break that Whedon and his wife, producer Kai Cole dedicated themselves to making Much Ado About Nothing. The film was shot entirely in Whedon and Cole’s own home, and made with a group of close friends (and recurring “Whedonverse” players) who share the filmmakers’ love of Shakespeare.
“Much Ado is the perfect film to open the 2013 Festival,” said SIFF Artistic and Co-Director Carl Spence. “The mash-up of Shakespeare with Joss Whedon’s creativity in storytelling contemporizes the source material, infusing it with modern-day antics and making the original text refreshingly funny and accessible.. This film is a passion project for Whedon, Cole, and his cast, and we are thrilled to celebrate it here in Seattle.”
Whedon and his assistant, Daniel Kaminsky, edited Much Ado on a laptop during post-production lunch breaks for The Avengers as well as on weekends. Continuing in this DIY ethos, the film also marks Whedon’s debut as a cinematic composer. The end result is a film that reflects the joy and freedom the cast and crew had in creating it.