Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Modern Hamlet For Hardwicke

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has signed on to direct a updated version of William H. Shakespeare's Hamlet for Overture Films. Entertainment Weekly reports the film will be a modern day supernatural thriller set in a East Coast college town. Hardwicke and Ron Nyswaner are currently penning the script with producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen on board to produce. Production is hoped to start within the next few months aiming for a 2010 release.

Catherine Hardwicke tells EW that she would have never thought of adapting Shakespeare's work. "Hell no," she laughed. "I had never thought of it at all, until Emile mentioned the idea." The Twilight director reveals that Emile Hirsch is the person who intially pitched the idea of the update to the William Shakespeare play. Not only is it Hirsch's idea, but he intends on playing the lead role of Hamlet. Hardwicke explains why she signed on. "At first, I thought it was scary and crazy, and then we read it aloud and I knew how to do it," Hardwicke said. So just how will Hardwicke "do it"? EW gives a brief synopsis of updated thriller: The story will begin with Hamlet (Hirsch) returning home for his father's funeral, only to learn that his uncle, who has taken over his father's post, is responsible for his father's murder.

Hamlet is one of many Shakespeare's works that have recieved quite a few film version's whether they have been modern or not. Kenneth Branagh's 1996 version happens to be the only version that is even worth watching. It really is an immaculate film. Ethan Hawke starred in a dreery modern update in 2000 and every one remembers Mel Gibson's so-so attempt in 1990. The 1948 Laurence Olivier version is good, but extremely dated and I have yet to ever watch the 1969 version starring Nicol Williamson. Really what I am getting at, is do we really need to see this story again? Catherine Hardwicke has intrigued me since she did Thirteen and I truely enjoy Hirsch's work as a young actor, but I still am a bit resistant to the idea. I will say the supernatural thriller angle could really be cool, I just hope the film distances itself from being strictly an update of Hamlet and is instead, only using Hamlet as framework.

What say you? Does a supernatural Hamlet update with Emile Hirsch sound any good? Strikeback...