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October 24 2011

Press interviews with Much Ado cast and crew. Main link goes to Entertainment Weekly and its exclusive interview with Joss, Sean Maher, and Amy Acker. Includes photos and much information about shooting, secrecy, release plans, and the house in which it was shot. Also: The Hollywood Reporter talks to Sean Maher. UPDATE: Sean Maher tells that Much Ado features some original songs. And The New York Times talks to Clark Gregg (aka Agent Coulson) who plays Leonato in the movie.

Insider: The last time Joss and Nathan worked together was in Dr. Horrible -- are there any songs in Much Ado?
Sean: There are. I will just say that. There's original music, so this was a long time coming for Joss.

I didn't think this could be more exciting. I love their main security was telling Nathan not to tweet, lol. And Sean as a villain! OMG!
I hear the script got leaked...
I am so excited for this thing! Ahhh! I love it!
The photo of Amy and Alexis is gorgeous.

A bit bittersweet that ASH was cast and then couldn't do it.

It would be rad if this swept like, The Sundance Film Festival.

The ever-present Jersey shirt now has to be an official totem whenever Joss is filming something.
Joss is in the shirt again! Also great read and I am so looking forward to this film.
Do you know who was going to be playing Leonato before Clark?
Anthony Head.

AliciaJo I was just going to say the same thing, clearly this is his lucky shirt!
Noticed the shirt too! My heart's aflutter after reading the article! Those photos are absolutely gorgeous and I just can't wait for this. Was incredibly saddened that ASH could not be a part of it. I think a part of me was secretly hoping he'd still miraculously make it. Has anyone else gone through some of the cast's tweets and finally made sense of some of them? Like that time Nathan tweeted a photo with Tom Lenk and a 'celebrity guest'?
I am also bummethed by the lack of ASH, but Gregg is about as worthy a substitute as could be drummed up on short notice.

And now I am also rather excited by the prospect of seeing the House That Kai Built.
Added an additional link about original songs.
Is anyone else just learning that Kai is possibly the coolest person? I mean, I always kinda figured, but wow, she designed their house, she pushed Joss to do this project... man!
I'm just so tickled by the whole thing, I can't stand it. (In the good way.)

Kindof amazing, this whole production, but he's right about that busy person thing - not that I am that person, but I know some of them for real, and they are just in that mindset that gets things done. And I've noticed that when I do get busy, there's a kind of energy that can get produced along with it that enables you to do more - as long as you're doing what you love. It all goes out the window when you're doing stuff you don't like, because that seems to beget stress and not much else.

Pretty cool of Kai to suggest this, and bagging the vacation (and Italy, for criminy's sake, that must've hurt) - but a happy, fulfilled partner is the best kind, and you can't buy that. (I do look forward to seeing the house as well.)

I loved that Shawna did closet-shopping - very smart in terms of budget, and in keeping actors happy - they can get comfortable in their own stuff, and Shakespeare is enough of a challenge without costume-strangeness.

Oh, and the casting is all so cool - the actors I know, anyway. I love that Joss always adds new folks to the Joss Repertory Theatre - it keeps it growing and alive.

Oh, it's all just so: neaterinos, I hadda gush a bit.
Noir, Whedony Shakespeare! So many of my favorite things in one punk rock package.
Awesome interviews! I'm getting more and more excited about this!
Just to read about how much love and joy was put into this, it tells me it'll be amazing!

Can't wait to see it! I'm happy for them doing the festivals and stuff, but it's gonna be torture to wait until whenever the rest of us gets to see this.

Edit to say: Also noticed and smiled at the shirt! I like that shirt, looks great on Joss! =)

[ edited by maxsummers on 2011-10-25 03:51 ]
It's kind of ridiculous how excited I am!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm more excited about this than I am The Avengers. Much Ado About Nothing has to be one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. Hilarity abounds and I think that it's right up Whedon's alley. Yay!
On top of all this awesomeness discovering the incredible coolness of Kai.
I think I'm actually making colon-D face.
OMG I have to share this funny tweet I got from @tomlenk!! After I read the press release, I figured I'd ask him which category fit him 'veteran of Shakespearean theater' or 'new to the form'. Here's his hilarious reply:

"well @jonnmolina I got a C in my UCLA Shakespeare Acting class and was scolded for setting my midsummer scene in present day. Vindication!"

followed by:

"and by present day I mean 1998"

Haha, how awesome is that?!
Amy Acker is crazy beautiful.

That is all.
I really do enjoy most of the actors that Whedon tends to recycle, though it is good to see him slightly branch out with the occasional person here and there!

While it's a shame Anthony Head couldn't do it for whatever reason, after the Marvel movies I appreciate how they finally made me take note of Clark Gregg whenever he shows up secretly in everything.

Likewise, I've dug Riki Lindhome since her one episode of Pushing Daisies and her podcast/Youtube work mostly as half of Garfunkel and Oates. I never noticed that she once did an episode of Buffy even... Her involvement actually does make me wonder exactly how much musical content there might be. Especially in noir form.
Amy Acker is crazy beautiful.


(not to be confused with the Kirsten Dunst movie Crazy/Beautiful)
Well, if they're going to contemporize it, it doesn't surprise me that there would be some original songs. There are songs in the original play, aren't there? (It's been a while since I saw/read it.) I mean, Shakespeare often included songs in his plays.

Very excited to see the house. I loves me a good house. Now if we could just get one good clear shot of the contents of the bookshelves... ;-)
I am so thrilled I don't even have words. In fact, I am possibly more excited about this than about any of his other projects right now.

And yes, BreathesStory, the original play does have some songs (most famously "Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more, men are deceivers ever. One foot on sea, and one on shore, to one thing constant never.")
What is there to say but Great Scott Batman!
I added a link to a NYT interview with Clark Gregg.
Thank you Kai Cole for not going to Italy. This is the best shared staycation ever!
This is so great! I can't believe how excited I am for something I didn't even know about two days ago.

The thing about these interviews is that they are just downright heartwarming. My heart = warmed. I was just saying to one of my friends the other day that, as excited as I am for The Avengers, I will be glad when it is all said and done and we can get some more smaller projects from Joss. And BOOM. Look at that! Incredible.

"The direction we were getting from Joss was to make it was real, especially with the language, not to be big and Shakespearian, but to bring it in and be intimate and bring it as close to a realistic way of speaking as we could."

Loved this. I think this is one of my favorite things about Joss as a storyteller. When it seems like a lot of other people try to go as big as they can, he tries to get as small and personal as possible.

Sad that Tony couldn't be there, but I'm actually pretty happy with Clark Gregg as his replacement. I quite like him. Would have been cool to get both of them though. (Especially considering we haven't gotten to see Tony in a Joss project since Buffy.)

The shirt is still around! Yay! I wonder if he has a closet full of them... maybe it's becoming a problem and that's the real reason Kai had the staycation and invited all of those people over. It was an intervention to make him see reason and wear a different shirt!

Speaking of Kai, how awesome is she, right? I mean, I always figured she must be very awesome, but dang! She built the house!? That's SO COOL.

Life is good sometimes. Even on Mondays.
This is the top of my "excited Joss projects" list.
And it's already listed in Wikipedia!
*weeps* ASH, what on earth could have been more important than a couple of weeks of unpaid work?

I can only imagine he has a wardrobe full of that shirt.
joss is one lucky man. I want a "What would Kai Cole do?" t-shirt.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-10-25 11:18 ]
Is Kai the real genius here?

I mean what did Joss do exactly?

Apparently some British guy wrote the script!
Wait, there is original music? Like with lyrics and singing? I'm so excited that I think this is going to kill me!
And you know what really rocks?


It's a comedy and NOBODY DIES , not even the bad guy, and certainly not Amy or Alexis.

(Yes, the play's over four centuries old, but you can't be too careful with spoilers.)

Wait - it's Whedon. He's going to kill someone we love, isn't he?
@Gill, that was my thought. Whedon might just slip a tragic element into this Shakespearean comedy. Is there opportunity in the play for the Whedion stick it to the gut moment? I haven't read yet, but will soon.

I can't get over the amount of press that a few tweets to the fandom spurred.

Well, if the world does end in 2012, it will be at the end of a very shiny Whedony year.
HUH, no James Marsters, this makes me sad.
embers, yes.
@hann23, there are several stick-it-in-the-gut moments, yes, because this is Shakespeare, the Joss of his day, and nothing's wholly simple. But nobody actually dies.



Some characters think somebody dies.

I love this play so much.

There's original music. No mention anywhere of original lyrics.
I do believe there's original lyrics, too, and that be all I say.

I'm totally excited to see this. Amy Acker and Alexis doing Much Ado. Crazy. Aside from being perhaps the nicest people in showbiz (add Ms Lachman too) they're also so very good actors.
@Gill -- thanks! I'll be reading the play soon.
HUH, no James Marsters, this makes me sad.

rehabber | October 25, 13:36 CET

@rehabber - me, too.

I wonder why Joss doesn't invite BtVS cast in his independent projects. It it because he has explored all their actor qualities? Or wants to keep them "in character" to stay inspired for his BtVS comics?
There aren't enough words for how excited I am!
I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan, but since I know James is, this whole thing is a bit disappointing instead of exciting for me.

Although I am glad to see Alexis is still on Joss' short list.
And where's Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, and even..Robert Downey Jr?

Whedon has worked with an enormous number of fabulous actors. It's why he's good. He can write and cast really really well. For whatever reason, MAAN has a certain cast and crew. We will probably never know his reasons and we certainly might not agree with his decisions. I for one would have probably held the whole thing off for ASH, but then I'm not Joss.

I am sure that his casting has to do with whatever muse was bugging him at the end of the Avengers as well as schedules. I for one trust his muse. Mostly.
This has to have been "like" a vacation for Joss, relatively speaking. No effects. Just the script adaptation and casting and working with his actors. Speaking of actors not appearing, he'd have to do one of the history plays for everyone to appear, and even then I'm pretty sure schedules would still not line up.
From the interview with Sean:
His wife Kai told me that she hadn't seen Joss this happy in a long time it was something he needed to feed his soul.

How fortunate we are that what feeds Joss's soul feeds us as well.
Original songs too? In a month? Wow. New standard for "happily productive vacation time."
One surprising element for me: Joss and his crew were able to bring in and set up the gear you need to make a movie, trucks and lights and such all over the place, without neighbors or paparazzi blowing the surprise. I'm glad he's not plagued with brazen photographers in the shrubbery, like so many others in show business.
Regarding all of those who aren't in the cast - given that it was done on such a short timeline, and that all of the TV shows were filming (hence no ASH, and almost no SM) - I don't think that there was any specific reason why some people weren't cast. Lots of schedules to be worked out. Since Dogberry, for instance, really only has a few specific scenes, Nathan could do it. Doubt he would've had the time for any other role.

And to the awesome Kai Cole - Thank You!
I really wish I could visit that house. Sounds lovely.
I am totally hyped for this now. That's so awesome that Joss manages to find the time to do smaller indie productions like this while working on big budget films like The Avengers. And yes, Kai sounds absolutely awesome. What an amazing creative couple! I'm now looking forward to seeing the house just as much as the actors.
I wonder if the pool with Fran (did we decide that was Fran) in the scuba mask is Joss' pool. Then that video that Mo posted on her blog with her hubby ("J") diving in would have been at Joss' house. That's a beautiful pool.
Argh! I was just lamenting in another post that ASH wasn't in the credits and to find out he ALMOST was in this is so disappointing! On the other hand, since Joss seems to be developing his own production company I hope we can see more quick little indie projects like this in the future. Wouldn't it be great if some of the Whedonverse writers got involved?
We did decide it was Fran, but it was also stated it was Fran, which probably got buried in all the various posts and comments.
Also, Maurissa confirms on Twitter that she and Jed have an original song in it, and Jed is scoring it.
@Xane, I too would have loved to see Marsters in this (and I'm still very jonesed about it given the cast) but I think it is clear he is not one of the 'Whedon Players' for whatever reason, unlike Nathan, Alexis and Amy for example. We all have our 'faves' and in my view, James is one of the best actors to have worked in Whedonworld but then I ain't casting things. In any event, we can enjoy Marsters' Shakespearean talents as brought to us by LA Theater Works and I don't doubt that I will enjoy Joss' Much Ado when it comes out. I also think this was brilliant marketing strategy since Whedon's 'cred' is never guaranteed to be higher (may be after Avengers but there is always the danger of not meeting sky-high expectations) than now.
Thank thou, b!X.
I think it would be thank thee, not thou, right? Dost thou agree, I ask thee?

I wish Mo was gonna be in it. Also, Seth Green, NPH, ASH, and Felicia Day. I also wish Joss would do an episode of Game of Thrones. Plus, I wish Joss's three movies were out already, so I could watch them all back to back. Waiting is sucky.
Whedon has a horror movie, super hero action film, and shakespearean comedy coming out next year. Thats pretty multi-talented.

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