Shakespeare is rolling in his grave

Julie Taymor (Across The Universe), aka one of the most overrated directors working today and ironically one of the most respected female directors ugh, is about to start production on her rape of The Tempest, adapted from the play by William Shakespeare (Romeo And Juliet). The film will star Helen Mirren (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets), Jeremy Irons (Appaloosa), Djimon Hounsou (Never Back Down), Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code), Ben Wishaw (Brideshead Revisited), Felicity Jones (Brideshead Revisited) and possibly Geoffrey Rush (the Elizabeth movies).

Although the play centers on Prospero, an exiled duke-turned-sorcerer, Taymor — who likes to take an experimental approach to her stage and film projects — has rechristened the lead character Prospera so that Mirren can take on the role.

Shakespeare’s play mixes romance with fraternal politics and the supernatural. As revised for the screen, it will center around Prospera, her daughter Miranda (Jones) and a shipwrecked crew full of Prospera’s enemies.

The island’s other inhabitants include Hounsou as the deformed slave Caliban and Wishaw as the airy spirit Ariel.

On the ship are rising comedy star Brand, playing Trinculo, a jester; Irons, as Alonso, the King of Naples; and Molina as the drunken butler Stephano. Rush would play Gonzalo, a royal adviser and old ally of Prospera’s.

Sure the cast is good, but that’s never stopped a bad film and that’s all I’ve seen from Taymor. Is anyone else here disgusted at this travesty? Kenneth Branagh maybe?

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Harry Potter wants to kick Hari Puttar’s ass, doesn’t care about Harvey Putter?

Yesterday I reported about Warner Bros’ legal battle with Mirchi Movies over the forthcoming Indian film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors (read more about it here). Today I find out that an American movie called Harvey Putter And The Ridiculous Premise has finished filming this August, and not only does Warner not care, the film actually has the support of the Harry Potter cast, crew, and fanbase!

The 30,000 dollar movie, from the people who brought you The Dork Of The Rings (huh?) features characters with names such as Dumpy The Houseschmuck, Hernia Grunger and Wand Fu Master and takes place at the “Snogwarts School Of Witchcrap”. According to the IMDB, the self-professed spoof’s story goes like this:

Celebrity teen wizard Harvey Putter and his friends learn that they are merely characters in a best-selling book and must magically escape their world before the final chapter.

The thought that Warner is freaking out over a Home Alone ripoff that most international Potter fans will never see (Indian films still being a very niche market) while Harvey Putter, which sounds like it’s going to be as funny as a Friedberg/Seltzer film (Disaster Movie), actually has the support of the Potter community, is baffling, and kind of sad really.

Dear Warner Bros, Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors‘ title is equal parts Harry Potter and William Shakespeare (The Comedy Of Errors, anyone?), so unless you can somehow get the Bard’s corpse to join you in your quest for “justice”, please give it up, you’re only embarassing yourselves.

Harvey Putter And The Ridiculous Premise is expected to premiere sometime in 2010, Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors is slated for release on September 12th 2008, and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince was recently moved to July 17th 2009.