Adapting Shakespeare for the Movie Screen–Joss Whedon vs. Kenneth Branagh

William Shakespeare died almost 400 years ago, but his work continues to live on and inspire new and interesting interpretations every year.

Last year, filmmaker Joss Whedon, best known for “The Avengers” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” released his take on Shakespeare’s classic play “Much Ado About Nothing.”  Taking the classic words and giving them a modern look and feel, he was able to show how the themes in Shakespeare’s story ring true even today.

In contrast, actor and director Kenneth Branagh, who has brought to the screen several Shakespeare plays (Hamlet, Henry V, Love’s Labour Lost, As You Like It) , created a much more classic feel in his version of “Much Ado About Nothing,” which was also well-received by audiences in 1993 when that film was released.

Which version of the film do you think most audiences today would more enjoy?  Does updating the film with a modern look make it easier to relate to?

Have you seen any modern adaptations of Shakespeare plays (whether they use his language or just the story, such as “10 Things I Hate About You,” an adaptation of “The Taming of the Shrew”) that you particular love?  Why did you love them?


Interested in talking more about Shakespeare this summer?  Come join us at our Oxford campus.  For more information, visit the website or call 866-480-7323.

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