Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Patrick Stewart's 'The Merchant of Venice' Still Moving Forward


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Patrick Stewart's 'The Merchant of Venice' Still Moving Forward

via Cinematical by Monika Bartyzel on Jun 05, 2007

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You might have heard rumblings a few years ago about another adaptation of William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. This came on the still-hot heels of the Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes version that came out that year. However, this one was going to put a bit of a spin on things. Under the hands of Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, the classic play was going to rise out of the desert of Nevada -- The Merchant of Venice Vegas. Aptly housed at the Venetian Resort, the adaptation would explore greedy gambling and money as well as the relationship between Antonio and Basanio using the city's gay scene. Of course, McKellen was approached by Stewart to play Antonio. At the time, some believed it was a bit over-the-top.

For a while, there has been no word on the project, but it's still been running under the radar. While discussing his upcoming Shakespeare roles for the Minerva Theatre in Chichester, Stewart chatted a bit about Venice, a play he was into since he was "12 and my English teacher put a copy of The Merchant of Venice in my hand... I just took to it, like being thrown into water and finding you can swim. All I ever wanted to do was Shakespeare, the other things were just happy accidents." While he made no mention of McKellan, he explained that he will produce and star in the film (as Shylock, I presume), which came out of an argument with John Logan over the play. After Stewart argued that it wasn't a "loathsome play," Logan decided to adapt it for the actor. Unfortunately, that's all there is to say for now -- there's no news on when, or of a definitive cast. Me, I'm just hoping this does well enough that he decides to bring his Prospero to the screen next, which he hit out of the park with New York Shakespeare Festival's version of The Tempest.

[via MovieWeb]
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