Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fifty Shades of Shakespeare: Cymbeline

The trailer has been banging around online for quite awhile but now Lionsgate is getting serious; they've just put out the theatrical poster for Cymbeline online, with a planned VOD release date of March 13th. You can watch the trailer below. And if like me, you need to brush up your Shakespeare here's the storyline per IMDB:
A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures.
Dakota Johnson as Imogen and Penn Badgley as Posthumus in Cymbeline

Ed Harris is the drug kingpin, Cymbeline, while Ethan Hawke stars as Iachimo. Hawke and writer/director Michael Almereyda took on the same modern-day approach to Hamlet back in 2000. For awhile they were calling this one Anarchy instead of Cymbeline, but they're back to Shakespeare's title, not exactly one of his most widely known. Not exactly a great marketing twitter title either.


Perhaps now that Ethan Hawke is a bona fide Academy Award Best Actor nominee, the studio thinks he can draw a large enough audience even with a crummy title. There's that, plus the presence of now-famous Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey) in the cast doesn't hurt. Johnson plays Imogen in what looks like a hot and heavy with Posthumus played by Penn Badgley. The cast includes Mila Jovovitch, Anton Yelchin, Bill Pullman, Delroy Lindo and Penn Badgley.


In addition to VOD, Cymbeline will be released in select cities. For you New Yorkers, Cymbeline is also part of th Film Society of Lincoln Center's Film Comment Select series on March 3.

Shakespeare, performed as Shakespeare wrote it, but set in modern day. My son's old high school drama teacher and director, Allan Hunt would approve. He staged The Merry Wives of Windsor in London's mod and groovy baby 1960's, The Taming of the Shrew in the Wild West and Julius Caesar in gangland Chicago. I owe it to him to watch. How about you?


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